Do you like visiting with that cute barista at the local coffee shop? Well, she/he may be on their way to being replaced by a machine ... maybe. This July, Texas-based company Briggo announced the installation of its first "intelligent" Coffee Haus on the University of Texas at Austin campus. The machine grinds and brews espressos, mochas and other specialty coffees on the spot, to the exact specifications of the customer.
The Coffee Haus is an improved version of an automated coffee-making kiosk that Briggo installed on the campus in 2011. The new machine uses "sustainable high-altitude Latin American direct trade coffee, fresh milk and gourmet syrups," plus it keeps users apprised of the status of their order, and it allows them to take a peek at its robotic workings as it prepares that order.
Users can place orders using either touchscreen controls on the machine itself, or via a mobile website interface on their smartphone – an iOS/Android app is in the works. That interface lets them stipulate exactly how they'd like their drink prepared, save drink orders that they like as favorites, and pre-purchase their coffee.
Additionally, it shows users the location of the closest machine, lets them know the current wait time, and sends them a text notification when their drink is ready to be dispensed.
Once a user tweaks their order to the point that they like it best, they can expect it to be prepared in that very fashion every time. With regular coffee shops, by contrast, quality can differ greatly depending on who happens to make your drink.
More Coffee Hauses are slated to appear in other US cities before too long. Baristas needn't necessarily start updating their resumés just yet, though – the arrival of pizza-making machines certainly hasn't put pizza cooks out of work, if that's anything to go by.
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