Coca-Cola's 100-Flavor Interactive Freestyle Soda Fountain in Action [video]

coca cola freestyle dispensers

Ever had one of those moments where all you wanted was a Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke, but all the fountain could offer you was regular old diet? Coca-Cola is doing away with that problem by introducing a new beverage dispenser. Heralded as the "fountain of the future" by Coke PR flaks, the "Freestyle"—which was first unveiled under the code name "Jet" back in April—offers more than 100 flavor options. There are traditional sodas, flavored waters, carbonated or noncarbonated beverages, energy drinks and so on. Even flavors not currently available in the United States.

This video is the first look at the Freestyle's touch screen interface, which is designed by Bsquare Corporation. 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. Beyond that, RFID scanners are used to match cartridges to dispensers, and the onboard computer confirms everything is in place. Existing soda fountains use five-gallon concentrate bags and lots of backroom labor. Now all that is required is a highly concentrated 46-ounce cartridge inside a self-contained machine.

Another perk is the business data the dispenser sends back to Coke's headquarters in Atlanta. The machines upload data about beverage consumption, peak times, and popular locations. Coke can also talk back to the machine, letting it know if a particular flavor needs to be discontinued or recalled and causing it to stop serving the drink immediately.

Freestyle machines are currently being tested in Georgia, California, and Utah. Coca-Cola has said it plans to place 60 test dispensers around the country by the end of the summer.

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  • d-vo

    Have one of these at my local 5 guys. Collest machine ever. Mango Mello Yello anyone?

  • Tim

    The choice may be great for consumers, and yes it does look fun to mix all those drinks, but it sucks.
    You have to wait in line to get the drink that you want. This fountain dispenser from coke is not the same  in that great taste that you're accustom to.

  • Holli Maines

    Did the suicide mix as a kid. I'll be interested to see what new SKUs hit shelves in the next one to two years.

  • mark dee

    For all the technology, it's amazing that they didn't give these machines personality? The ability to remember each individual User? The ability to converse via bluetooth/SMS, mobile/Twitter or other interface?

    The technology is there, but, they were more interested in sending data back to Coke in Atlanta that starting a conversation with their audience.

    This should have been far more groundbreaking than it's being given credit for. This could have involved creativity alongside the technology.

    Maybe next time (or, the machine next to it will).

  • christine arena

    Unfortunately I can't seem to get the video to work, says something about it being "private." But I genuinely love the innovation idea and am really craving a Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke!

    Christine Arena
    twitter id: @christinearena

  • Christina Withee

    I can't see the video. It says "private video. if you were sent this, accept friend request." Wha's up with that?

  • Tony Friday

    Great idea, but with so many choices I can see a long line of thirsty people waiting for someone to make up their mind on their selection.

  • Justin Fyles

    This is a good idea, but talk about waste. It's like those one cup dispensers.

    The software is laggy too. Going to guess they have a small, low-power processor in there.

    Still...I want one.

  • Christopher Wold

    Fantastic. A vending machine which will mix you up your own 'Suicide', which is what we called it when you mixed all the flavours from the fountain into a single drink. Digusting.