I was going to write my own comment but WilliamWeaver wrote it for me. I love this machine. It's a fresh as the Heinz squeeze and dip ketchup containers that some people complain about for reason I cannot fathom.
Are we really that concerned about public touchscreens? How have we survived ATM's and gas pumps? I like the design and doubt that the health considerations were neglected during the design process. More likely, the touchscreen decision was made based on consumers' comfort and familiarity with the technology in so many other daily transactions.
They have been down here (New Orleans) in select locations for about a year. what would be nice is if they used voice recognition (I'd like a diet cherry coke please), oh wait they already have that, its called the counter sales person.
I have had experience with these machines also. The first thing you notice is the extremely long line. The restaurant I went to had this as the only option for dine in guests. My first suggestion is to have the standard machine or at least one that dispenses Coke and diet Coke only nearby as once the novelty wears off these will probably be their two largest volume products. Next you step up to this machine and use the touch screen to select your drink. There are so many choices that it takes the average person like 20 seconds just to decide what they will drink (even those waiting for a while in the line and who you would think had already decided). So you make your decision and then you need ice. Well the ice is dispensed the traditional way. You push your cup against a lever and ice comes down. Then to dispense your drink you push a button (not the touch screen). Every time I go there is ice on the floor as people pull their cup away before the machine stops dispensing ice (I know, that is a different problem entirely). So you need to interact with a touch screen, a lever and a button. Why not just have EVERYTHING on the touch screen? It would be easy enough to add those selections to the side of the screen. I believe this is as much to blame as the overwhelming selection. Not to mention the kids that want multiple-multiple flavors so they start the entire process over midway through filling their cups! I thought it was the coolest thing the first time I used it. Now I just wish they had the standard machine!
Thanks TJ, for putting the Coca-Cola Freestyle self-serve machine on my radar screen. I must have been hiding under a rock somewhere because I hadn't heard of it. That said, my kids will go gangbusters for this since they mix drinks all the time when I let them use a soda foundation.
Nevertheless, I have to agree with every point you raised. While the technology may be cool on its own, any upside is tempered by the germfest, the pull-out-your-hair wait time for the guy ahead of you to mix up his concoction, and the gross-out factor of all those mismatched flavors coming together. Yuck, is all I can say.
I agree with the masses (or the poster and two commenters anyway), that the disturbing aspect of this new Coke machine is the touch screen that has encountered every bug that has passed through the community. As a father of thee I can testify that kids are very germy. And it's kids who will be spending quality time smearing the touch screen with community-wide germs. If this machine were placed in any of the fast food joints in my area, I can guarantee the touch screen wouldn't get wiped more than twice a day. And believe me, it wouldn't be wiped a towel carrying bacteria-killing fluids.
That said, I love variey of choices. Cool idea. They just didn't think through the public exposure.
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