February 22, 2013
New York City (NYC) taxis may soon be dispensing condoms. NYU business school student Brian Shimmerlik created miniature vending machines with an initial $17,500 grant from the NYC Economic Development Council. The taxi cab machine -- designed by aerospace engineers to work reliably and safely in taxi cabs -- will be called TaxiTreats. The cabs likely will tally the vending machine purchases directly into cab fare, making it easy for passengers to purchase contraceptives. A recent study revealed soaring rates of STDs in a large part of NYC; thus, hopes are that the quick availability of condoms will help address that problem. Recently backed by $1 million in seed funding, Shimmerlik's company Vengo, is expanding his initial concept to include vending machines containing items such as gum, mouthwash, and cologne to be dispensed in offices, bars, and doctor's offices throughout the city.