Never in a million years would I have thought a soda fountain would be so entertaining, but the day has come.
Soda fountains with touch screens are popping up everywhere, touting the ability to mix up 100+ different flavors of drink. Coca Cola has their version, and PepsiCo does too.
But, not only can you pour yourself a seemingly infinite number of "palette blasters"—enough to make you sick—the Flash-based GUI (pronounced "gooey") of these machines is pretty cool.
I’ll admit, I'm a Diet Coke fiend—maybe even a snob. I've recently quit drinking it for various reasons outside the scope of this blog, but ask any of my friends and they'd tell you that DC runs through my veins. And to my delight Coca Cola's high-tech fountain called "Freestyle" offers multiple flavors of Diet Coke. But that’s not what I found most exciting. It's the futuristic experience of "getting the soda into the cup" that I found fascinating.
While in front of this RedBox-like kiosk at Burger King in Cromwell, CT, I first noticed the many, many on-screen buttons. Of course my drink of choice at the time was Diet Coke, so I touched that.
Next up was a screen with a large DC button in the middle. This was pre-selected with, I'm assuming, the idea that most people who want DC want the "traditional flavor." But circling around the large button were 'niche' options like Diet Coke w/ Lime, Vanilla, etc.
I wanted "regular," so with traditional DC already selected, I hit the big, silver mechanical button below the screen. And that was it. The soda made it into my cup. It was a neat experience--something I never thought I'd have at a fast food joint.
If you'd like to find a high-tech soda fountain near you, go here and type in your zip code. I guarantee you'll have a more lively experience than usual when filling up your cup.