I keep forgetting to mention this, and perhaps by now this isn't news to many people, but I thought it was worth mentioning since I know there are quite a few W soda fans. I was at Subway a couple weeks back and was greeted by one of these beauties.
They call it Coke Freestyle and it's the most advanced soda fountain machine evarrrrr! The articles I read say it pours 104 different flavors. I don't know if they all have that many but the one at my local neighborhood Subway provided me all the Peach Fanta, Raspberry Coke, and Cherry Limeade Minute Maid I could want.
The question I have is how they can have 104 flavors. You can't very well have 100 different kinds of syrup in back, so that means they must be mixing syrups on the fly. i.e. diet cherry coke = diet coke syrup + cherry syrup.
Even, so you'd still be looking at probably 20 syrups, from the video, let's say: 1 Vault, 2 Diet Coke, 3 Coca-Cola, 4 Coke Zero, 5 Sprite, 6 Sprite Zero, 7 Diet Caffeine Free Coke, 8 Barqs, 9 Diet Barqs, various fruit flavors (lemon, peach, raspberry), various Powerade flavors, plus whatever that is in the second row next to Coke Zero.
EDIT: Article I found says it doesn't use bag-in-box syrup, it instead uses "concentrated flavor cartridges a little larger than a video cassette tape." So I guess 100 of those is possible, but mixing different kinds still seems more likely.
The biggest flaw in the design is that there's only one tap. I can imagine flying into a rage while in line behind some jackass noodling around with every page of the menu when all I want is my damn drink already!
I saw something kinda like that at the local 7Eleven - press a button for a flavour (lemon, cherry, etc.) and pick your soda. Hold the button and your soda is dispensed. Stop halfway, and switch your, sayyy...cherry sprite to a lemon pepsi in the same cup.
But man, that machine looks AWESOME. Wonder if Vanilla Coke is on that menu. I really, really miss that stuff.
Godspeed, men of the 2nd Bn, 127th Infantry, 32d "Red Arrow" Brigade, Wisconsin Army National Guard! Victory in Iraq!
Saw CNBC's documentary on Coke, and the last segment was devoted to this thing. To the surprise of nobody, each of the Freestyle machines sends data back to Coke HQ in Atlanta on what mixes people are coming up with...in case the Coke bigwigs might wanna actually introduce 'em.
The host said the #1 flavor people were picking...regular ol' Coca-Cola.
There's also a NYT article today about Jack Kirby. Unfortunately they post a Kubert brother drawing. It's not bad, but it stretches the Kirby influence on "Matrix" and wimps out on its alleged effect on ''Star Wars". It's here.