iPad Meets Coke Dispenser

Okay, I know that Steve is encouraging us to take care of the homeless, Paul is telling us that we don’t have soul mates, and Rebecca is talking about Margaret Thatcher.

However, I had to interrupt these important message to tell you about the most awesome fast food development since McDonald’s started taking credit cards and Chick-Fil-A started using those enormous ketchup packets.

Last night at Wendy’s, I saw this new type of drink dispenser.  (Is this what people in larger cities have all the time?  I’d never come across one.)  It’s a spout with — essentially — an iPad above it.  So, there’s one spout with all kinds of possibilities.  For example, I clicked on Diet Dr. Pepper.  In most restaurants, you’re lucky if you can get that specific variation of Dr. Pepper.  But when I touched the Diet Dr. Pepper icon, it gave me even more options!

Would I like Diet Dr. Pepper Vanilla?  (Who knew?)  Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry?  Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry/Orange?

I am not making this up.

The Diet Coke icon brought me Diet Coke Lime, Orange, Cherry,  or Banana!  What?

My mind was reeling with the possibilities!

I’d never even heard of such combinations.  And I’m not even mentioning the decaffeinated versions of drinks.

There were people behind me, so I didn’t get to fully explore my options.  (What would happen if you chose Powerade?  How many flavors would be represented?  Ten?  But I did choose Fanta for my four year old, and there were so many choices I’ve never even dreamed of.

But wait, I thought.  Cynicism had taken hold of my heart.  If I get orange Fanta, will my Diet Dr. Pepper be flavored with the remnants of her orange drink?

I held my enthusiasm in check until I sat down and took a drink.

Great news! No orange contamination at all!

Can you believe what technology has given us?  Diet Dr. Pepper with Vanilla!

The only disadvantage I could imagine is not being able to simultaneously get a drink when another customer is at the other end of the dispenser.  (Is that bad etiquette anyway?  Like, if the other customer is getting Coke at one end, and you want to get the Hi-C on the other end?  Or is that considered pushy?)

None of the other customers were as thrilled with this machine and we were, so I thought I’d get your take.  Have you ever seen these new Coke machines, and are you a fan of the new technology?

About Nancy French

Nancy French is a three time New York Times Best Selling Author.

  • Jill Joiner

    My daughter and I went to Wendy’s this week and were both also impressed with technology behind my Vanilla Coke Zero and her concoction (not exactly what she mixed together.) But, once I got over how cool the dispenser was — I have to admit that I thought more than once about how many fingers potentially touched the buttons before ours. I know — I’m such exciting company.

  • Chuck O’Leary

    My 6 year old LOVES these machines. It gives him a sense of control to mix a cocktail of seven or eight different sodas and then tell me “this one’s better than the last one!”. Then he tries to figure out what combination of those buttons to push on the cup lids: diet? cola? other?


  • http://serquet.worpress.com Serquet

    I first came across one of these just last week in our home town of Denver at a (smallish) chain called Firehouse Subs that my husband wanted to try. It was pretty fascinating and I really enjoyed the Cherry Limeade option (cherry being by far my favorite flavor of soda; it’s sort of an addiction). The one reservation I have is that it seems that all the mixes come out of the same nozzle and I wonder if there is any issue of cross-contamination for people with food allergies.

  • http://brightideainteractive.com Blake Moore

    I actually came across one of these as well at a firehouse subs. Very cool interface for something as simple as pouring a drink. Im actually in the middle of building something similar for more “Adult” beverages that will handle mixing from online cocktail recipes. From my initial inspections of the machine at firehouse subs the liquids actually mix (syrup and soda water) a the last second so very little if any contamination is an issue. It also seemed as though the soda water ran for a split second longer than the syrup after releasing the button on the screen essentially self cleaning the nozzle. Any thing that you guys felt like the system was lacking or a cool unnecessary feature that may make it more standout and fun let me know as im looking to make this project interesting.