Unlike the disaster of New Coke and Coca-Cola Classic, the Freestyle machine by Coca-Cola was a successful innovation by the company. These Freestyle machines popped up in movie theaters and fast food restaurants. Suddenly walking into an establishment and seeing the standard soda dispensers was disappointing. Coca-Cola was banking on the fact that most people like to customize their drinks. This new approach to soda fountains has Coke on top of their game.
Never a company to rest on their laurels (or is it yanny’s?), Coca-Cola recently announced the next generation of Freestyle machines, and it has some really cool upgrades! The new Freestyle 9100 will be available nationally in 2019. It features a 24-inch, high-definition touchscreen, and Bluetooth connectivity. The Bluetooth connection will allow fans to connect with a Freestyle mobile app to always have their favorite beverage combination ready to go. Not only will this allow the lines at the machines to move more quickly, it will allow you to create some favorite mixes when you don’t have the pressure of standing in front of the machine with people waiting for you to finish choosing.
The new machine will also feature an operating system upgrade which is supposed to make it easier and faster for users to find the beverages they want. The new operating system will actually be pushed out to current Freestyle machines as well. However, the operating system update for old machines will not carry the Bluetooth connection capability with it.
Restaurants also have the ability to create specialized recipes that are unique to their establishment. Wendy’s already released a Dave’s Cherry Cream Soda, which sounds delicious! Through this Coca-Cola content management system, more places will follow suit, I believe and create specialized recipes that have a unique mix of flavors to bring more customers in the door.
The company is also promoting refillable cups, equipped with micro-chipped, ValidFill® radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. These cups have recently been introduced for use with Coca-Cola Freestyle machines via a variety of universities, cruise lines and theme parks. These refillable cups directly interact with Coca-Cola Freestyle, conveniently providing preset pours of favorite beverages and new tastes.
Since I live in the valley, where specialized soda reigns supreme, I know that a lot of my friends will be VERY excited about these updates! I guess a trip to the movie theater is in order soon to try it out!
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Sarah Kimmel has spent the last 16 years of her career as an IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com