Bsquare brings IoT to Coca-Cola’s futuristic Freestyle machine
IoT for Coca-Cola machine
IoT software and services company Bsquare has been working with Coca-Cola since 2006, on a project that would become the Coca-Cola Freestyle, an “internet of things”-enabled drink dispenser. Bsquare first served as the lead systems integrator for the Freestyle machine, before expanding its relationship to support the applications team, quality assurance and others.
The touch-screen soda fountain was introduced publicly in 2009, and features more than 125 different Coca-Cola drink products and custom flavors. The Freesyle allows users to select from mixtures of flavors of Coca-Cola branded products, which are then individually dispensed.
Bsquare provided consulting, architecture, services and products to develop the dispenser. The company says significant investment went into preparing an architectural design for the dispensers, which are flexible, reusable and have unique interfaces when compared to fountain dispenser available.
According to Bsquare, the company helped Coca-Cola with user-interface design and implementation; direct connectivity to Coca-Cola’s network; remotely managing operational activity; and the ability to capture customer usage data to drive product management and further brand development.
Key to the Coca-Cola Freestyle dispensers is the different user interfaces designed to appeal to different types of users. It needed to be a simple and easy to understand user experience that guides the user through all the beverage choices. The same flexible functionality also guides a typical outlet crew through the steps necessary to maintain the machine. A technician interface provides service personnel with troubleshooting tips and service data.
The Coca-Cola Freestyle is an example of an intelligent system, according to Bsquare. Connected directly to Coca-Cola’s network, operational activity can be managed remotely. For example, restaurant operators can order new supplies based on demand consumption; sales and equipment status can be retrieved from the dispenser unit; and software and artwork for its LCD panel or new beverage recipes can be downloaded directly to the dispensers.
IoT technology is finding its way into many businesses around the word. But for industrial applications such as heavy equipment for construction, mining, and public works, IoT has been proven to provide tangible financial benefits to manufacturers while at the same time delivering improved products with greater uptime characteristics to their customers.