The fridges and coffeemakers at Starbucks are about to get a whole lot smarter. Within the next year, the coffee chain reportedly plans to connect its devices to the Internet of Things. Specifically, fridges will now tell employees when a carton of milk has gone bad, and cloud-based Clover coffeemakers will track what recipes customers prefer, and alert workers to the machine's performance. The move is an attempt to improve productivity as well as customer service.
Starbucks has embraced technology far longer than many other fast food joints, from offering free—and faster—Wi-Fi to customers, to allowing payments via smartphone with deals with Apple's Passbook and Jack Dorsey's Square (which saw its fair share of complications).