Condom vending machines, long available in urban bars and bathrooms, may soon dispense their favors in New York City taxis.
The initial concept belongs to Vengo, a touchscreen, credit-card-only vending machine that debuted yesterday at the Village Pour House, a bar near Union Square in Manhattan, and dispenses gum, mouthwash and Old Spice cologne.
The miniature wall-mounted machines, created by NYU business school student Brian Shimmerlik with an initial $17,500 grant from the NYC Economic Development Council, are now backed by $1 million in seed funding.
Shimmerlik's company plans to supply 10,000 of the vending machines to offices, bars and doctor's offices throughout New York City.
The contents of the machines can be customized for each location, with products that may include Advil, 5-hour energy shots, USB cords and condoms, among other necessities for on-the-go New Yorkers.
"The purpose is to update the vending machine of the '80s," Shimmerlik told the NY Post. "They've become extinct."
"Who hasn't flown into New York, grabbed a taxi, and had a terrible headache? Who hasn't been late for a meeting, immediately regretted skipping breakfast, and suffered for the rest of the day? Who hasn't left a meal and thought, 'Wow, I'm self-conscious about my breath?'"
To that, he might have added "Who hasn't embarked in a taxi toward a sexual encounter, only to realize they were lacking protection?"
The taxi cab machine will be called TaxiTreats, and according to the founders, has been "designed by aerospace engineers specifically to work safely and reliably in a taxi environment."
It is likely that vending machine purchases will be tallied directly into cab fare, making it that much easier for frisky (and possibly intoxicated) passengers to procure contraceptives and be on their merry way.
The increased availability of condoms will undoubtedly win the endorsement of the NYC Department of Health -- a recent study revealed soaring rates of sexually transmitted diseases in large parts of the city.
Published by Medicaldaily.com