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Soft Drink Analysis Paralysis Coming Soon
August 6, 2009 1:46 PM   Subscribe

Pepsi Coke Blue x 100 "Dubbed Coca-Cola Freestyle, the new soda dispenser offers more than 100 different beverages, all in one self-contained unit." See it in action. [via]
posted by kmz (88 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Where's the Dr Pepper button?

And no, Mr. Pibb is not an adequate substitute.
posted by tommasz at 1:50 PM on August 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Very cool technology but it seems like it would be a huge bottleneck (no pun intended) in a crowded restaurant.. I'd go nuts waiting 10 minutes behind someone while they choose their one soda from 100 options
posted by Riptor at 1:51 PM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pepsi Blue? More like when they brought Coca-Cola Classic after New Coke! I love fountain Coke, and if it's able to be vended in more areas, I'm all for it.
posted by xingcat at 1:52 PM on August 6, 2009


There's peach Sprite? Since when?!
posted by contessa at 1:53 PM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Where's the rum button?
posted by chugg at 1:53 PM on August 6, 2009 [11 favorites]


OK, cool, but will it let me make a suicide?
posted by spilon at 1:53 PM on August 6, 2009 [6 favorites]


I was really hoping for some sort of wonkaesque mix-and-match flavor combiner, so I'm disappointed that this is just a more space efficient dispenser for all the normal coke products.
posted by Pyry at 1:54 PM on August 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh god oh god oh god oh god let it have Moxie and Fanta Red Cream Soda.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:54 PM on August 6, 2009


The excitement exhibited in the second youtube video saddens me greatly. I mean, I was promised flying cars?
posted by Mountain Goatse at 1:55 PM on August 6, 2009


what a horrible UI. You can see its slow update speed screwing people up, and the big-button/small-button difference on the second screen will cause people to NOT select the big button, even if it's the only one, like the rootbeer screen.

With 100 fucking options you'd think they'd have room for Pepsi brands, but noooo.

"Land of the free" my @ss.
posted by @troy at 1:56 PM on August 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Will probably be a pain to ensure all the "ingredient containers" stay full and fresh. Why do I picture about half of the flavors dispensing nothing but carbonated water at any given time?
posted by brandman at 1:56 PM on August 6, 2009


Sort of cool. Although I see it as just a fancy new gimic to keep people addicted to carbonated sugar water.
posted by Rashomon at 1:56 PM on August 6, 2009


I was really hoping for some sort of wonkaesque mix-and-match flavor combiner, so I'm disappointed that this is just a more space efficient dispenser for all the normal coke products.
Um, it is.
Select a Coca-Cola product, such as Fanta, and the screen offers several flavor options. Choose the one you want (Grape, please!) and the machine mixes the drink right then--it can even mix flavors in ways that are not traditionally offered.

The machine is more technologically complex than you'd imagine. The "PurePour" technology was originally developed to measure extremely precise amounts of dialysis and cancer drugs.
posted by delmoi at 1:57 PM on August 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Assuming this would still allow for partial fills of different kinds of soda, this could be awesome for my love of making my own soda mixes...Mr. Pibb+Vanilla Coke+Strawberry Fanta= CRAZY DELICIOUS
posted by rollbiz at 1:57 PM on August 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Calling a dispenser of 100 branded flavors of carbonated fructose-syrup-water "Freestyle" is an insult to rap, skateboarding, biking, dancing, surfing, swimming and mixed marshal arts.
posted by nanojath at 1:59 PM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


anybody notice an "Ice" button on there? I didn't see one.
posted by shmegegge at 2:02 PM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


This machine just makes it that much more obvious to people that all these drinks are just tiny chemical variants on the same damn thing -- carbonated water + HFCS.

Not that people, by and large, care. I guess we're at the point now where Coke doesn't even have to care about psychological factors like that.
posted by gurple at 2:02 PM on August 6, 2009 [6 favorites]


The "PurePour" technology was originally developed to measure extremely precise amounts of dialysis and cancer drugs.

Way to go, America.
posted by 7segment at 2:03 PM on August 6, 2009 [8 favorites]


Related, Coke vs. Pepsi.
posted by hifiparasol at 2:03 PM on August 6, 2009


Um, it is.

100 combinations is not Wonkaesque, that's Chipotle-esque.
posted by Pyry at 2:03 PM on August 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Can it let me choose a cane-sugar Coke? No? Nevermind, then.
posted by ardgedee at 2:03 PM on August 6, 2009 [8 favorites]


Wow, even The Consumerist is in a tizzy over this "futuristic" touch-screen beverage dispensing system. To their credit, the selection system does a good job of breaking up the options into subsets of each soda.

I was hoping for a mix+match system: I want a 16oz drink consisting of 5% ice, 6% Sprite, 22% lemon iced tea, 10% green fanta, 18% orange fanta, and 39% New Coke, and it should come out in one go. I want sliders for each drink selection. This is not the future, this is just soda dispensory getting up to date with ATMs.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:05 PM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm a bit skittish, mainly because of seeing hot chocolate and beef drink come from the same tap at a football match in London.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:06 PM on August 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


They have something like this at my local automat. It's Space Age!
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:06 PM on August 6, 2009


If this means no longer getting a puke worthy mismatch of syrup and carbonation, I'm all for it. Yay future!
posted by Atreides at 2:07 PM on August 6, 2009


We'll know it's the future when the /ice/ is frozen product and not just tapwater, too. I do this with the Sucrolose Diet Cokes I got (one can frozen into cubes, one can room temp) and it is rad, almost like a slurpee.
posted by @troy at 2:09 PM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wonder if, like inkjet printers, it refuses to pour any more Coke or Fanta once it's out of Sprite flavour?
posted by Nelson at 2:11 PM on August 6, 2009 [9 favorites]


I love that water is an option. If there was any innate poetry in the universe, pucshing that button would summon directions to the nearest river.
posted by jonmc at 2:11 PM on August 6, 2009


Wonkaesque, Chipotle-esque, I call it Kafkaesque. Clearly invented by Coca-Cola in response to a distant father-figure and a crappy childhood. I bet if you open it up you'll find a small family of soda-mixers toiling away at the whims of rubes who are pressing buttons until sugar water comes out.
posted by hellojed at 2:12 PM on August 6, 2009


You still have to push buttons??? It's not futuristic until I can walk up and say "Tea. Earl Grey. Hot"
posted by ghiacursed at 2:13 PM on August 6, 2009 [13 favorites]


Hah, it has Dasani, Coke's bottled water that turned out to have come straight out of a tap.
posted by permafrost at 2:15 PM on August 6, 2009


Speaking of mix and match systems, just plug these 94 base flavors into the machine along with carbonated water, let people choose up to 3, and you already have over 160,000 flavors, not counting variations in proportions.

Since this will be time consuming, let people define these flavors on a website, hook up the machines to the internet, and let people pick their flavor by punching in the unique name/id code assigned to it. The machines could even read special RFID 'coke cards' that people can use to customize their personal flavor selections. This would produce a treasure trove of data that could be used to make suggestions to people regarding flavors, or even (using your favorite optimization algorithm) tailor drinks to individual people.
posted by Pyry at 2:19 PM on August 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


No comments tearing apart the tools in the video with their canned "amazement" at the "awesomeness" of this monstrosity?

This is almost like a real youtube video of a bunch of regular bros who happend to encounter the machine of their dreams and not a complete fabrication!
posted by ElmerFishpaw at 2:19 PM on August 6, 2009


As Gurple says above, this machine just needs a few inputs, really:

1. High-Fructose Corn Syrup?
A. Yes, Lots!
B. No thank you, I'm on a diet. Aspartame for me!

2. Flavor?
A. Cola! (What the hell is Cola anyways?)
B. Artificial Lemon-Lime
C. Surprise Me!

3. Caffeine?
A. Yes. Lots!
B. No thank you, I'm on a caffeine-free diet. More HFCS maybe?

And, of course, the only size is Super-size.
posted by vacapinta at 2:20 PM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have a friend who works at World of Coke here in Atlanta, and they've been showing this off. From what they're showing here, there's actually more along the line. Apparently another cool feature (if you'd call it that) is that the soda apparently tastes better too, since instead of a pre-mixed tank combined with CO2, the massive number of flavors are available because the machine contains syringes of the concentrated syrup that is only mixed with the carbonated water upon dispensing. And yeah, the biggest selling feature is how they're going to offer flavors that have only until now existed in other countries.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:21 PM on August 6, 2009


that is only mixed with the carbonated water upon dispensing

? This is my impression of how all soda machines have worked for forever. The Chipotle I go to has the syrup boxes in the back of the backroom connected to the front machine with lines.
posted by @troy at 2:29 PM on August 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Inca Kola is quite good (it's that chemical banana flavor, which I happen to enjoy, sort of like Now & Laters).
posted by mike_bling at 2:30 PM on August 6, 2009


Related, Coke vs. Pepsi.

hifiparasol -- You owe me a Coke®!

I know, I know -- there's a 26 minute delay between our posts, but we must take into account that our comments were made in two different threads.

Nonetheless, as I said -- You owe me a Coke®!
posted by ericb at 2:35 PM on August 6, 2009


/me pushes the big "back button"
posted by MysteriousMan at 2:37 PM on August 6, 2009


I love that it has a Dasani button. Oh please, magic machine, can I have water that leaves a metallic taste in my mouth? Thanks, soda jerk from the future.

Seriously, though, despite my hatred for Coke-bottled water, this is awesome.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:38 PM on August 6, 2009


? This is my impression of how all soda machines have worked for forever. The Chipotle I go to has the syrup boxes in the back of the backroom connected to the front machine with lines.

Soda machines are either a "pre-mix" or "post-mix" fashion- pre-mix is the syrup and water already mixed, with a CO2 tank pushing the soda and carbonating it. (Usually what you see at a bar) Post-mix combines a liquidated syrup with external CO2 and an outside additional water line- the latter of course being much better. (Usually what you see at a restaurant or 7-11) But this is further than even that. The syrups are highly concentrated with no pre-mixing at all- instead of a box, the flavor syrups are the size of inkjet printer catridges.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:39 PM on August 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


This machine just makes it that much more obvious to people that all these drinks are just tiny chemical variants on the same damn thing -- carbonated water + HFCS.

Heh. And all of wine-dom is just water with some alcohol and some tiny chemical variants. What a waste of time.

Heck, for that matter, everything that's classified in the category of "drink" is water + some impurities.
posted by smackfu at 2:41 PM on August 6, 2009 [8 favorites]


anybody notice an "Ice" button on there? I didn't see one.

Yeah, it's there as one of those dispensers you push in with your cup. If you look closely at the photo you can see it.
posted by jeremy b at 2:43 PM on August 6, 2009


It's not futuristic until I can walk up and say "Tea. Earl Grey. Hot"

In the real future, allegedly-advanced computers won't be so hung up on word order.
posted by rokusan at 2:44 PM on August 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


If you add two youtube links to a press release, is it still a press release?
posted by gyusan at 2:45 PM on August 6, 2009


Wake me up when they offer a 100 selection 'Single Malt/Blended Scotch Whisky machine®!'
posted by ericb at 2:56 PM on August 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Mmm...so many pretty buttons for corn juice!
posted by Burhanistan at 3:01 PM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Next to come:
Sirius Cybernetics Corporation's Cocal Cola's Nutrimatic Drink Dispenser

"When the 'Drink' button is pressed it makes an instant but highly detailed examination of the subject's taste buds, a spectroscopic analysis of the subject's metabolism, and then sends tiny experimental signals down the neural pathways to the taste centres of the subject's brain to see what is likely to be well received. However, no-one knows quite why it does this because it then invariably delivers a cupful of liquid that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea cola."
posted by Hairy Lobster at 3:01 PM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


The "PurePour" technology was originally developed to measure extremely precise amounts of dialysis and cancer drugs.

And in a brilliantly synergistic piece of marketing, it's now been adapted to measure extremely precise amounts of kidney-destroying and carcinogenic soft drinks!
posted by unSane at 3:03 PM on August 6, 2009


And in a brilliantly synergistic piece of marketing, it's now been adapted to measure extremely precise amounts of kidney-destroying and carcinogenic soft drinks!

Eh, we came up with Silly Putty when experimenting on new ways to melt South Asian children. Things happen.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:06 PM on August 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


No OK Soda?


:(
posted by aubilenon at 3:08 PM on August 6, 2009


You owe me a Coke®!

OK, hang on. First I have to press the "Coke" button, now figure out which kind of Coke I want... OK, now I'm getting an hourglass... Wait, did I break-- oh there it goes. OK, now I have to press the specific... whoa, cucumber Coke? That's a thing? Wait, no, I don't want cucumber Coke I DON'T WANT CUCUMBER COKE aw shit.

Hope you like cucumber Coke.
posted by hifiparasol at 3:09 PM on August 6, 2009 [9 favorites]


Hope you like cucumber Coke.

As long as the flavor comes from the cucumber-infused Hendrick's Gin!
posted by ericb at 3:20 PM on August 6, 2009


I WANT
posted by jcruelty at 3:24 PM on August 6, 2009


The syrups are highly concentrated with no pre-mixing at all- instead of a box, the flavor syrups are the size of inkjet printer catridges.

What's the difference? Separate HFCS feed?
posted by @troy at 3:25 PM on August 6, 2009


I only came here to make a "Nutrimatic" reference, but Hairy Lobster beat me to it. Phooey.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:30 PM on August 6, 2009


But will there be Beverly?
posted by cmgonzalez at 3:30 PM on August 6, 2009


ericb : Wake me up when they offer a 100 selection 'Single Malt/Blended Scotch Whisky machine®!'

I was thinking something similar except mine was a button that poured my regular Coke classic into a glass and my Kentucky bourbon into a different nearby glass.

It wouldn't be quite the technical achievement, but it would make weekend nights fractionally easier. Maybe the whole contraption could be operated by pulling a single brass lever labeled "Oblivion Awaits" or "Drunk" or something.
posted by quin at 3:34 PM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


The "PurePour" technology was originally developed to measure extremely precise amounts of dialysis and cancer drugs.

Both of which treatments you will be likely become intimately familiar with if you use vast amounts of said products. How astonishingly clever!
posted by Hylas at 3:35 PM on August 6, 2009


Wonkaesque, Chipotle-esque, I call it Kafkaesque. Clearly invented by Coca-Cola in response to a distant father-figure and a crappy childhood.

I think you're searching for the word "Freudian".
posted by hippybear at 3:38 PM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


And yet, that machine will never dispense Fanta anywhere as good as European Fanta, which has 5-10% orange juice.
posted by parudox at 3:41 PM on August 6, 2009


Wake me up when they offer a 100 selection 'Single Malt/Blended Scotch Whisky machine®!'

They actually had wine dispensers a little like this at the now-deceased Copia Center in Napa. You loaded up a card with money and were set loose. There was (I seem to recall) maybe 10 dispensers, each of which had four bottles inside. You'd slide your card and choose a tasting pour, half glass, or full glass. You put your glass under the spout and there was this delightful pneumatic hiss as the bottle was unsealed and the wine siphoned out and into your glass.

That was a pretty fabulous afternoon. The wine stayed really fresh, you got to taste without doing wine counter banter, and it felt very much like Wine of the Future.
posted by mostlymartha at 3:49 PM on August 6, 2009


I love that water is an option. If there was any innate poetry in the universe, pucshing that button would summon directions to the nearest river.

Water? You mean like in the toilet?
posted by fuse theorem at 3:51 PM on August 6, 2009 [8 favorites]


Yay! 100 variations on poison with a bad user interface!
posted by dubitable at 3:54 PM on August 6, 2009


@troy: "What's the difference? Separate HFCS feed?"

I think that's basically it, yes. The current "post-mix" or "bag-in-box" systems have syrup, which is mixed with carbonated water as the drink is poured. (In some machines, particularly the ones in KFC in my area, the mix head is actually clear and you can see the syrup and water mixing together.) These systems require a fairly large 'box' of syrup for each flavor of soda you want.

This new system separates out the flavoring — which are very potent — from the sweeteners, and then mixes them together on demand. I assume this thing must have a CO2 supply, water line, two kinds of sweetener (diet and regular HFCS), and then all the little cartridges of flavoring. If you order a regular Coke, it mixes up some carbonated water, HFCS, and Coke flavoring.

So basically it seems to take the bag-in-box system to the next level and break out the sweetener (which is common across all or nearly all flavors), keeping only the unique flavors in separate containers/cartridges.

I think it's kind of neat, and in the long run it might actually lead to people being less fat: today, typically if you want a calorie-free fountain beverage you're either drinking Diet Coke or water. With this machine, if it's built the way I think it is, you ought to be able to get any flavor soda in a 'diet' version.
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:56 PM on August 6, 2009


I was afraid this would have that awful Beverly soda that Coke apparently sells in Italy. It's not so much a great 'beverage' as a great prank.
posted by cobaltnine at 4:21 PM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Makes me wonder what the highly concentrated flavor tastes like before it is unadulterated by water and sugar and carbonation. Like a kick in the face? Like mucous membrane damage? Oh man, I need to know!
posted by Mister Cheese at 4:32 PM on August 6, 2009


These systems require a fairly large 'box' of syrup for each flavor of soda you want.

I'm surprised that the existing systems are only about a 5:1 ratio. I bet diet soda could go lower than that but is the same as sugared sodas for consistency.
posted by smackfu at 4:33 PM on August 6, 2009


Stoney Tangawizi (ginger beer) is the best Coca-Cola product. I wish they would sell it in the U.S.
posted by Frank Grimes at 5:08 PM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


100 variations on poison with a bad user interface!

Worst They Might Be Giants song ever.
posted by rokusan at 5:26 PM on August 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


But where Specifically are the machines. I want to know! the give the specific San Diego Jack in the Box and just say "2 restaurants" in Atlanta! how will I find my robotic coke machine now!
posted by Megafly at 6:14 PM on August 6, 2009


smackfu: "I'm surprised that the existing systems are only about a 5:1 ratio. I bet diet soda could go lower than that but is the same as sugared sodas for consistency."

That's my suspicion, too. If they used a different ratio, you'd have to adjust the mix valve if you wanted to change from diet to regular soda on a particular tap. Easier to keep it the same, even if it means adding a lot of filler to the diet soda mix.

I've always thought it'd be cool to have a home soda fountain and even looked into it once—at one time, you could get used pre-mix systems very cheap, since everyone was changing over to BnB—but then decided it would be a really bad idea. Even ignoring the health risks of drinking that much diet soda (to say nothing of the obvious issues if it weren't diet), I realized I'd probably rot my teeth out of my skull thanks to the acid in no time. (Also, I then discovered beer.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:22 PM on August 6, 2009


But will there be Beverly?

I was at the World of Coke in Atlanta back in the stone age of 1992, and they had it then!
posted by Tube at 6:25 PM on August 6, 2009


Makes me wonder what the highly concentrated flavor tastes like before it is unadulterated by water and sugar and carbonation. Like a kick in the face? Like mucous membrane damage? Oh man, I need to know!

It is a weak imitation of a rare and exquisite liqueur distilled from the berries of the near extinct Extremus Bush.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:29 PM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


There is one in Atlanta at Willy's on Roswell Road near Chastain Park. No word on whether the machine offers Delaware Punch.
posted by Andy's Gross Wart at 6:56 PM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


100 variations on poison with a bad user interface!

Worst They Might Be Giants song ever.


Oh man. As soon as I read that I had it running through my head to the tune of "Birdhouse in Your Soul." Thanks a lot rokusan.

And you're right, by the way.
posted by dubitable at 6:57 PM on August 6, 2009


Makes me wonder what the highly concentrated flavor tastes like before it is unadulterated by water and sugar and carbonation.

If the various kitchen extracts are any indication, it probably smells divine and tastes awful. Sugar is an important ingredient!
posted by smackfu at 8:11 PM on August 6, 2009


There is one in Atlanta at Willy's on Roswell Road near Chastain Park

Anyone know where the other one in Atlanta is?
posted by arcolz at 8:29 PM on August 6, 2009


Kadin2048: I've always thought it'd be cool to have a home soda fountain and even looked into it once—at one time, you could get used pre-mix systems very cheap, since everyone was changing over to BnB—but then decided it would be a really bad idea. (...) (Also, I then discovered beer.)

You should have gone for it anyways. Those pre-mix soda kegs are perfect for kegging homebrew.
posted by neckro23 at 9:28 PM on August 6, 2009


Somehow this makes me think of the computer on the Heart of Gold... there one where explaining how to make of cup of tea causes it some... issues.
posted by edgeways at 9:55 PM on August 6, 2009


Pepsi blue, HFCS, rampant consumerism causing the deaths of the souls of whales, etc...

I really want this, because it brings me that much closer to tasting Rhubarb Pocari Sweat.
posted by sleslie at 10:42 PM on August 6, 2009


Makes me wonder what the highly concentrated flavor tastes like before it is unadulterated by water and sugar and carbonation. Like a kick in the face? Like mucous membrane damage? Oh man, I need to know!

My brother got a hold of some coke syrup once, and thought the same thing. He thought he was going to taste the very essence of coke; the God-coke.

It's really not that good.
posted by sleslie at 10:48 PM on August 6, 2009


The 10 year old in me hopes with mad, gleeful anticipation that pushing all the buttons simultaneously yields this.

No flash on this machine, flying blind. Hope that's the correct video.
posted by zippy at 10:49 PM on August 6, 2009


I can also attest to the fact that drinking concentrated syrup isn't the greatest thing in the world. I drank an entire glass of root beer syrup in college because A. the soda machine in the dining commons wasn't dispensing the carbonation and B. I thought it'd be worth a laugh. It wasn't, and I spent the next hour or so lying on a couch complaining that I swallowed a brick and now it lived in my stomach and this sucks and I'm not happy.

I do not recommend this product and/or service.
posted by Spatch at 5:30 AM on August 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I really want this, because it brings me that much closer to tasting Rhubarb Pocari Sweat.

Try the Wasabi or Curry flavors of Ramune soda.

Or, on second thought, don't.
posted by rokusan at 6:05 AM on August 7, 2009


Makes me wonder what the highly concentrated flavor tastes like before it is unadulterated by water and sugar and carbonation.

Crap. They've sold coke syrup for decades in pharmacies now. It was used as a nausea remedy.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:24 AM on August 7, 2009


I can't wait to be jaded about this!
posted by spec80 at 10:21 AM on August 7, 2009


Red corp label on the outlet by the light switch
That watches over you
Pour a little cola in your soul
Not to put too fine a point on it
Say Im the only drink in your stomachem
Pour a little cola in your soul


Yeah, a little too easy.
Thanks guys. All. day.
posted by LD Feral at 8:16 AM on August 20, 2009


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