Monday, August 24, 2009

Behold the Coke soda dispenser of the future

Posted By on Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 10:00 AM

Future robots don't have to be evil -- some of them might help us have a world with more soda choices at our finger tips. Coca-Cola is currently test-marketing the Freestyle -- a soda dispenser with more than 100 choices inside a single machine -- in southern California. The first machines are in Jack-In-the-Box, where food science is likely a way of life.

Fat City covered the initial rollout of the new dispensers back in February. The fountain machine uses flavored concentrates that it then mixes with water and sweetener to produce the selected soda pop. Interestingly, this means drinks can have different flavors from those typically available -- peach, strawberry, or grape Sprite for example.

It also suggests a number of unholy types of Fanta. The real eye-opening aspect is just how many brands are owned by Coca-Cola, with everything from water to sports drink options in among the carbonated choices. 

Videos of the machine in action are starting to pop up on YouTube. There's a review of the product from the Consumer Electronics Show, and a handful of average people filming their use

of the touch screen to pick a soda. Many of them have the same blank

expression you see when someone is looking for a movie via a

Redbox kiosk or looking something up on their iPhone.

Sadly,

it doesn't seem to have the option of a suicide -- the time-honored

tradition of adding a bit of everything offered from the soda fountain

dispenser. But if it did, would that many flavors combine to form a

sublime version or just something that tasted like Coke?

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