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Print 60 comment(s) - last by SandmanWN.. on Jun 11 at 9:55 AM

New machine uses RFID tech to help gather business intelligence

Soft drinks like Coke have been around for decades. Over the years, many different varieties and formulas of coke have been tried and ultimately failed. Any child of the 80's will remember the failure of New Coke.

Coca-Cola has developed a new high-tech soft drink dispenser that will soon find its way into many fast food restaurants in California, Georgia, and Utah. Should the high-tech machine prove popular, it may find its way into restaurants across the country and around the world.

The drink machine can mix over 100 varieties of sodas, juice, teas, and flavored waters. The machine is called the Freestyle drink dispenser and the first restaurants to get the machine will be McDonald's and Burger King.

The machine is meant to do much more than simply mix a large variety of drinks; Freestyle will be Coke's front-line business intelligence tool that will be able to send back massive amounts of consumption data from all over the country and around the world.

Using the machine, new flavors of drinks will be able to be tested rather than bottling and marketing new drinks that may not prove popular. Coke's Christopher Dennis said, "This is a huge jump from our current fountain dispensers. It's like going from the dial phone to the BlackBerry."

By the end of the summer InformationWeek reports that Coke will have about 60 dispensers in Atlanta, Salt Lake City, and Orange County California. The machines will be rolled out to other locations later in the summer.

The machines will gather information about the types of drinks ordered, and just as importantly, the types of drinks not ordered with the machine. The new system mixes drinks using microdosing rather than the common method of large five-gallon bags of syrup. The cartridges of flavors would be loaded like an ink jet printer and only a few drops would be needed to flavor a drink.

The Freestyle machine will offer 18 different drink brands and runs on the Windows CE operating system. The data on usage patterns collected is sent back to Coke over a private Verizon Wireless network.



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The beginning
By djc208 on 6/8/2009 11:37:49 AM , Rating: 5
So in other words the Coke machines will now be more intelligent than some of the cashiers at your local McDonalds/Burger King.

And I'll continuously get stuck behind the guy/girl who can't make up their mind with the 6 choices we have now and is hopelessly lost with 18+.

But at least I can get my diet watermellon/cherry/vanilla Coke with green tea.




RE: The beginning
By icanhascpu on 6/8/2009 11:42:42 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
But at least I can get my diet watermellon/cherry/vanilla Coke with green tea.


aka slurm lite


RE: The beginning
By S3anister on 6/8/2009 2:22:54 PM , Rating: 2
Whimmy wam wam wozzle! Let's Party!


RE: The beginning
By DJMiggy on 6/8/2009 2:49:35 PM , Rating: 2
Where is Slurms McKenzie when you need him?


RE: The beginning
By FaceMaster on 6/8/2009 11:51:22 AM , Rating: 2
CHOCOLATE RAIN is almost here...


RE: The beginning
By stimudent on 6/8/2009 11:59:14 AM , Rating: 3
The ear wax flavor was pretty good.


RE: The beginning
By icanhascpu on 6/8/2009 12:09:38 PM , Rating: 5
Dumbledore does not agree.


RE: The beginning
By Gul Westfale on 6/8/2009 12:54:13 PM , Rating: 5
any chance of raktajino?


RE: The beginning
By Souka on 6/8/2009 1:13:01 PM , Rating: 2
I want Bacon flavored Coke!

I already dig:
--Bacon
--Bacon Bits
--Bacon Salt
--Bacon Floss
--Bacon Mints
--Bakon Vodka (yes there is a K in this bacon product)

:)


RE: The beginning
By pwnsweet on 6/9/2009 1:49:37 AM , Rating: 2
...Bakon Vodka?


RE: The beginning
By therealnickdanger on 6/9/2009 8:10:07 AM , Rating: 3
RE: The beginning
By True Strike on 6/10/2009 1:26:55 PM , Rating: 2
You'll want to give bacon flavored gumballs a try then:
http://www.thinkgeek.com/caffeine/wacky-candy/b96c...


RE: The beginning
By SublimeSimplicity on 6/8/2009 11:53:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And I'll continuously get stuck behind the guy/girl who can't make up their mind with the 6 choices we have now


Not to mention the people who still can't operate an ATM without reading every word on the screen and combining verbal commands with screen touches.


RE: The beginning
By Dark Legion on 6/8/2009 1:56:46 PM , Rating: 5
The differences between how a woman and a man uses a drive-through ATM.

HIS
1. Pull up to ATM
2. Insert card
3. Enter PIN number and account
4. Take cash, card and receipt

HERS
1. Pull up to ATM
2. Check makeup in rearview mirror
3. Shut off engine
4. Put keys in purse
5. Get out of car because you're too far from machine
6. Hunt for card in purse
7. Insert card
8. Hunt in purse for wrapper with PIN number written on it
9. Enter PIN number
10. Study instructions for at least 2 minutes.
11. Hit "cancel"
12. Re-enter correct PIN number
13. Check balance
14. Look for envelope
15. Look in purse for pen
16. Make out deposit slip
17. Endorse checks
18. Make deposit
19. Study instructions
20. Make cash withdrawal
21. Get in car
22. Check makeup
23. Look for keys
24. Start car
25. Check makeup
26. Start pulling away
27. STOP
28. Back up to machine
29. Get out of car
30. Take card and receipt
31. Get back in car
32. Put card in wallet
33. Put receipt in checkbook
34. Enter deposits and withdrawals in checkbook
35. Clear area in purse for wallet and checkbook
36. Check makeup
37. Put car in gear, reverse
38. Put car in drive
39. Drive away from machine
40. Travel 3 miles
41. Release parking brake


RE: The beginning
By ViroMan on 6/8/2009 9:47:23 PM , Rating: 2
lmao that was hilarious and mostly true!


RE: The beginning
By SandmanWN on 6/9/2009 11:30:04 AM , Rating: 2
I swear this happened to me just the other day. I was sitting behind this fat chick in a mini-van forever. There was a line building up behind me and somewhere around step 18 all hell broke lose. Shes looks so flustered. Finally she looks back at me and yells, "I think its broken!" I shrugged like wtf am I supposed to do about it.

After another minute or two she looks back again and says its still not working. I yell back to her, "well get the f*ck out of the way so we can all leave!!!" Stunned she pulls herself together and moves up a bit.

I decide to test it out anyway. Card in, pin in, deposit envelop, withdraw cash, and off I go. She watches the whole time and in a moment of complete rage pulls away tires squealing in a complete fit. All I could do was shoot her a bird.


RE: The beginning
By Muskrat Matt on 6/9/2009 6:05:51 PM , Rating: 2
That wasn't real civil of you.


RE: The beginning
By SandmanWN on 6/11/2009 9:55:07 AM , Rating: 2
Well we were all logged jammed in the parking lot. No one could move and this lady is sticking her card into the ATM for the 10th time. She keeps looking back at us suggesting we should do something but we have no room to move.

The sad part is, whatever she was doing was obviously not important or she would have simply drove around and gone inside to clear it up. Instead she took off in a fit and just left. So she wasted everyones time on a brain fart and apparently for no real reason other than her fat @ss didn't want to leave her car.


RE: The beginning
By bchandler02 on 6/8/2009 11:53:59 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
So in other words the Coke machines will now be more intelligent than some of the cashiers at your local McDonalds/Burger King.


I thought they already were?


RE: The beginning
By marvdmartian on 6/8/2009 4:01:06 PM , Rating: 2
They are, he was just making a funny! ;)

Is the inkjet printer cartridge idea all that great?? I mean, hopefully this doesn't mean that refilled cartridges for the soda machine will cost more per ounce than crude oil does, much the same that inkjet cartridges do!!

Isn't this a great country?? We're trillions of dollars in debt, but hey......at least we can mix a gazillion flavors into one fountain drink (full of HFCS, which will just add to our obesity problems). ;)


RE: The beginning
By Alexstarfire on 6/8/2009 1:03:07 PM , Rating: 2
It there is one in my area I might actually go to McDonalds or Burger King to try it out. It'll be the first time I've actually wanted to go to one of those places in probably a decade.

Though, they may only put them in downtown Atlanta.


RE: The beginning
By inperfectdarkness on 6/8/2009 4:55:23 PM , Rating: 2
i'll bite.

legitimately...you'd have to give equal billing to all marquees. the only way to do that would be to randomize the order they are listed in for every customer. people are inclined to give up searching for something new after about 8 choices.

this is also prone to biased research. free refills? what size glasses are being filled? a 44oz mega-chug will require more "micro flavor" than a 12oz cup. how will it fill the appropriate size? multiple button presses for a large glass? that would quickly piss me off.

i like the idea...but i remain skeptical.

and it's not slurm...it's BRAWNDO!


RE: The beginning
By SilthDraeth on 6/9/2009 12:53:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
a 44oz mega-chug will require more "micro flavor" than a 12oz cup. how will it fill the appropriate size? multiple button presses for a large glass? that would quickly piss me off.


This part is simple enough. A standard fountain system contains bottles of CO2 that get pumped with water, making soda water, and boxes of syrup that gets mixed with the soda water producing the desired beverage.

Obviously the machine is going to have the ability to track how much liquid is being dispensed and will just add the appropriate amount of flavoring on an ounce by ounce basis.

I am sure if you had sensitive enough taste buds you could trick the machine into making slightly weaker/stronger flavored drink if you spammed the button and could figure out at what intervals/ounces it added flavoring. But I doubt you or anyone else would really notice.


great...
By DuctTapeAvenger on 6/8/2009 11:38:04 AM , Rating: 5
I'm intrigued by this concept, but what happens when it crashes? Would a BSoD involve someone getting shot in the face with concentrated Coke? It would melt their face off!

At least by running windows it will let people choose what they want, even if it will kill them. If it ran an Apple OS, it would just put out a single type of kick-arse herbal tea, and develop a following of people that would refuse to drink anything but that tea from that moment on.




RE: great...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 6/8/09, Rating: 0
RE: great...
By CurtOien on 6/8/2009 12:57:12 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
It is the carbonation that fools you into thinking that it is somehow corrosive


You are wrong. Coke contains phosphoric acid.


RE: great...
By zxern on 6/8/2009 2:59:24 PM , Rating: 5
And orange juice contains citric acid, whats your point


RE: great...
By foolsgambit11 on 6/9/2009 5:06:43 AM , Rating: 2
I know your point was that he didn't really know what he was talking about, but a quick search reveals that Coca Cola Classic has a pH of 2.5 and orange juice averages about 3.8. That's a pretty substantial difference.


RE: great...
By icanhascpu on 6/8/2009 12:11:57 PM , Rating: 2
Tea > Melted face

>=(


RE: great...
By shaw on 6/8/2009 1:16:53 PM , Rating: 5
When it gets a BSOD you simply hold Coke+A&W+DASANI and the machine will restart itself.


RE: great...
By eddieroolz on 6/8/2009 3:07:19 PM , Rating: 3
I shouldn't have read that during lecture, it made me laugh out loud.


Can it mix New Coke?
By MrPeabody on 6/8/2009 11:40:47 AM , Rating: 5
Can it mix me a Pepsi?




RE: Can it mix New Coke?
By Goty on 6/8/2009 11:49:03 AM , Rating: 3
WINNAR!


RE: Can it mix New Coke?
By strikeback03 on 6/8/2009 1:19:00 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe if the Pirate Party can end copyrights and such.


RE: Can it mix New Coke?
By Smartless on 6/8/2009 1:50:27 PM , Rating: 4
I think you'd have to jailbreak it. Or sign a contract with AT&T.


RE: Can it mix New Coke?
By sonoran on 6/8/2009 4:22:59 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe Neelie Kroes will fine it a billion euros if it doesn't.


NOOOOooooo.....
By icanhascpu on 6/8/2009 11:40:30 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
The new system mixes drinks using microdosing rather than the common method of large five-gallon bags of syrup. The cartridges of flavors would be loaded like an ink jet printer and only a few drops would be needed to flavor a drink.


I expect a extra large coke to be 19.95 now with coupon =(




RE: NOOOOooooo.....
By ertomas on 6/8/2009 2:09:54 PM , Rating: 5
But the machine will only cost you $9.99!!


RE: NOOOOooooo.....
By Aquila76 on 6/8/2009 9:49:14 PM , Rating: 2
Large Coke now is ~$2.50 at whatever Krusty Burger joint you choose, for 1 of 6 choices. Now you can mix any of 18 choices, so that's 324 possible drink choices. I think you're looking at $810.


Lets get this out of the way...
By SublimeSimplicity on 6/8/2009 11:28:56 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
The Freestyle machine will offer 18 different drink brands and runs on the Windows CE operating system.


Get your best cliche blue screen of death jokes ready and.... GO!




By gyranthir on 6/8/2009 11:39:58 AM , Rating: 2
Tastes like BSOD... *ralph wiggum*


RE: Lets get this out of the way...
By thekdub on 6/8/2009 2:42:09 PM , Rating: 2
Nah, instead of a blue screen, it just spits out blue Coke.


By smartalco on 6/9/2009 12:49:03 AM , Rating: 2
Nah, it spits out Pepsi Blue


Uhh...
By acase on 6/8/2009 12:16:13 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
By the end of the summer InformationWeek reports that Coke will have about 60 dispensers in Atlanta, Salt Lake City, and Orange County California. The machines will be rolled out to other locations later in the summer.


...later in the summer than the end of summer?




RE: Uhh...
By SublimeSimplicity on 6/8/2009 3:53:18 PM , Rating: 3
Its Global Warming man... fall has been renamed late summer.


Quality Control
By CurtOien on 6/8/2009 1:03:21 PM , Rating: 2
Coca-Cola has very strict quality control. It will be interesting to see how this works out from a QC standpoint.

Some of the ingredients are very dangerous in concentrated form also. Hopefully a malfunction will not cause a severe injury.




RE: Quality Control
By CurtOien on 6/8/2009 1:18:57 PM , Rating: 2
I just read the original article and I think your article is not correct. It appears that they will still use the five gallon bags of syrup for coke and sprite etc... and will only be adding extra flavor with these cartridges to make things like vanilla or cherry coke. This would make things much safer and easier from a QC point of view.


RE: Quality Control
By Silver2k7 on 6/9/2009 3:19:32 AM , Rating: 2
don't thay already have like 50 types of coke or something like that.. I doubt you will be able to blend with choosing ingredients.. its probably a list with preconfigured choises.

like:

CokeII
Cherry Coke
De-caf Diet Coke
Vanilla Coke
Coca-Cola Zero
Fanta Pineapple
Fanta Strawberry
Fanta Cream

etc etc..


Longer lines
By nafhan on 6/8/2009 11:54:38 AM , Rating: 3
Can you imagine someone just standing there and staring at all the choices for 5 minutes? I can. Also, price and taste absolutely need to stay the same. Otherwise, this will be a failure. It should also be easy to use.
I'm very interested in trying this once it comes to my area.




RE: Longer lines
By Kary on 6/8/2009 2:56:18 PM , Rating: 2
I think my record is standing for 20 minutes looking at 15 different types of coffee (in a convience store that used to only carry 2...caf and de-caf...at 9PM...3/4ths of the way on a four hour drive...they could have shot me in the head and screwed me up less).


By monkeyman1140 on 6/8/2009 3:11:07 PM , Rating: 5
That's all I want.




Windows CE? Great ...
By dondino on 6/8/2009 4:35:38 PM , Rating: 5
*presses diet coke button*

screen displays: "Fatal Exception Error. Send Error Report To Microsoft? (Y/N)"




I hope...
By jnewbern on 6/8/2009 11:34:51 AM , Rating: 4
Time to add slurm to the line up.




what if
By swizeus on 6/8/2009 12:16:16 PM , Rating: 3
The windows crash...




Willy's in Atlanta
By gsellis on 6/8/2009 1:09:48 PM , Rating: 3
One of these is online in the Buckhead (Atlanta) Willy's (listed incorrectly as Willie's in original link). Pretty cool and easy to use. The kids there went back a couple of times. I had a Raspberry Coke.




Sugar content
By Ammohunt on 6/8/2009 1:44:35 PM , Rating: 2
Will you be able to control the sweetness? Fanta in the states is nauseatingly sweet compaired to Germany.




By BZDTemp on 6/8/2009 7:35:01 PM , Rating: 2
Plus it should use clean water not water that is filled with chemicals to kill germs.

Oh, and can you imagine the lines at the counter. It is bad enough some people can not decide if they should get a hamburger or a cheeseburger. Now imagine those people having to decide what drink and what size drink!




By Headfoot on 6/9/2009 1:47:01 PM , Rating: 2
Coke needs to partner with Don Simon and toss a box in the machine so you can get...
CALIMOCHO FROM A MACHINE!!!




Cheerwine
By ted28601 on 6/8/2009 11:32:44 PM , Rating: 1
IF it wont do Cheerwine it ain't shit




Monopoly!
By Choppedliver on 6/8/09, Rating: 0
"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson











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