Yves Béhar’s minimalist new look for SodaStream, the at-home seltzer-making machine, hit the market last September. The new look for the SodaStream Source was pure form-follows-function: The clear bottle snapped into its frame and let you watch the drama of water fizzing and morphing into seltzer from any viewpoint.
Last week, during Milan Design Week, SodaStream introduced the follow up to Source: Play. The industrial design has remained unchanged, but Play is all about enhancing the DIY vibe of SodaStream. Now, instead of buying a monochrome unit, fizzy water fans can choose from a customizable array of mix-and-match colors, via an app that swipes through different color combinations for each machine component. At the company’s exhibit in Milan, a step-by-step layout guides customers through the Lego-like building process: Pick a color for the base, body, bottle, and so on.
The last step brings you to the SodaStream flavor pods, another recently introduced feature for the company (and contributor to SodaStream’s already vexed relationship with Coca-Cola). SodaStream previously just made soda water; now you can brew lemon-line soda, or, say, ginger ale, by snapping a pod on top of the bottle and letting the syrup pour in. (I sampled grapefruit, and it was delicious.) Perhaps conscious of the fuss over K-cups causing more unnecessary waste, these flavor pods have biodegradable packaging.
After years of gleaming white Apple-inspired design, color is now hot among product designers. Jambox (another Béhar design) offers customized colors. Both Moto and the Apple iPhone 5c hinged recent product campaigns on the array of available shades, and the designer behind this stylish toothbrush wanted a premium, but personal, feel, so he offered the toothbrush in a variety of colors and finishes.
Play’s official debut was at the pop-up shop for Milan Design Week. SodaStream will start making Play, and the Play app, available in the coming months.