Who doesn't love vending machines? More importantly, who doesn't love Coke? I love Coke. Do you love Coke? It's possible that the entire population of the world, with the exception of my fiance, Michael, loves Coke.
So, in this age of consumerism, where everyone wants to do their own thing, and forge their own, brave trail through the mountains of life, what better than a vending machine that dispenses customised drinks? Why drink lemonade like everyone else, when you can make up your own beverage? Why toe the party line when you can be an inventor? A brave discoverer of new culinary frontiers?
You know what, I may sound sarcastic, but this is fricking awesome and I want to go to America right now so I can try one of these babies out.
The deal is, Coca Cola has unveiled this new breed of vending machines, called Freestyle, which are programmed to dispense 140 different flavours by way of a touch-screen interface. You simply select the basic drink you want (Coca-Cola, lemonade, etc), and then you can add further flavours like cherry or whatever. Apparently, you can also choose your drinks by calorie count, or caffeine, and you can even choose how much to put in your cup - I know that sounds lame, but it does mean you can add loads of different flavour combos, so you can add in some limeade on top of that cherry cola to create something a bit more unique - and probably utterly disgusting.
Coca-Cola will be monitoring every transaction (Big Brother, Big Brother, 1984 has come!) and might use the machines to trial new flavours and see what consumer demand is. The vending machines supposedly use some new magical technology which makes it possible for the machines to stock a much larger range of flavours than ever before, and keep everything fresh, so it's mixed right on the spot. So, this is more of a soda fountain than an actual vending machine, but I won't argue.
If you live in Orange County, California, you might have seen one of these in your local restaurant. Lucky b. I hope you like them, because if you do, maybe we'll end up with them in the UK. One day. I can dream.