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Thursday, July 23, 2009 

Coke's Fountain of the Future?

or Big Brother syrupy creepy? You decide.

From late 2004 through 2008, Coca-Cola executives on the company's "Jet Program" were sworn to secrecy. They signed nondisclosure agreements, locked their office doors, preserved internal memos and, by the time they could tell their families what they were working on two years in, their children had to sign nondisclosure agreements, too.

They were designing the "fountain of the future" -- a touch-screen soda dispenser that gives drinkers what Coke thinks they want -- variety, and lots of it.

...The new system only has room for one cup at a time and promises 104 beverages by allowing people to mix and match a Lime Coke, for example, with a Cherry Sprite.

...Radio frequency identification technology keeps tabs on what people are drinking and what they're avoiding, and sends notes to corporate Coca-Cola nightly to report on drinking habits and when they need to ship more of something to their fast-food and restaurant clients. Technology that has been used for cancer and dialysis patients drips the perfect amount of soda concentrate -- stored in cartridges that could be confused with those that store printer ink -- with carbonation. An ice maker sits on top. - Press Enterprise

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