The future is here—and it’s caffeinated.
You already use your smartphone to check your email, manage your bank account and keep up with your friends—why not let it make your coffee, too? Well, maybe that’s getting too ambitious. There aren’t any coffee maker smartphone attachments on the market that I know of. But that doesn’t mean people aren’t trying to use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled devices to improve the home brewing experience.
As engineers and technology companies race to make our homes more connected than ever, the coffee maker is an obvious target for this sort of improvement. Imagine being able to start a pot of coffee before you even leave your bed. Sounds amazing, right?
Since brewing coffee depends on a variety of factors, such as the type of drink and the brew strength, controlling this process remotely is a bit more complicated than simply turning it on and off. Development of smartphone-controlled coffee makers is in its nascent stages, with cost being one of the biggest barriers to purchase right now. Still, I look forward to the day that my favorite cup of joe will be ready at the push of a (phone) button.
Here are two methods of device-enabled coffee brewing that hint at what might become standard in homes a few years from now.
Using Augmented Reality to Envision Your Perfect Cup
Qualcomm, a company known for its powerful computer chips, debuted a concept Wi-Fi coffee maker at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February. Here’s the idea: Using a tablet or smartphone camera within a designated app, a person can snap a picture of his or her chip-enabled coffee maker, which the app will then categorize and communicate with in order to get the drink ready.
In this example device, an Atheros 4100 chip is installed onto a standard drip coffee maker. The user can set the time the drink brews and whether he or she wants it regular or strong. Then, it’s just a matter of hitting the “Brew” button. The app can even send a notification when the brew is ready.
I think an ideal application for this type of device would be in the office setting. “Ordering” a coffee via smartphone or tablet and receiving an alert when it’s ready would be a welcome time saver. Unfortunately, though, this is just a concept but something I look forward to making it to market.
Perfect Specialty Drinks for Any App-etite
UK company Scanomat has been producing coffee solutions since 1985. Its latest machine is called TopBrewer, and it’s quite the showstopper. The sleek unit looks something like a cabinet with a black countertop and tall, chic faucet. But instead of a sink, the surface includes a touchscreen menu and drainage grate, and instead of pipes, what’s inside the cabinet is everything needed to brew any coffee drink.
Intrigued? You should be, but don’t get your wallet out yet. With a reported price tag of 6,000 Euros (that’s more than $7,800), it’s no wonder this product is designed for offices, hotels and the like.
Of course, with that kind of price tag, Scanomat promises buyers are getting an exquisite product. It is said that this machine can produce a perfect cup of filtered coffee in 15 seconds, while another 10 seconds of waiting time will get you a professional-quality espresso. Plus, with iPhone and iPad integration, you can order your personalized drink (macchiato? cappuccino? latte?) without having to leave your seat.
This is not a product that’s meant for homes, nor is it meant to be. But I wouldn’t mind trying it out at a swanky hotel. Check it out in action:
VIDEO: High-end coffee maker from TopBrewer will make any kind of coffee drink you want, controlled from your iPhone or iPad.
Still in love with your old-school coffee maker? Leave your review here.
Editor’s note: If you have professional experience with coffee makers, Viewpoints is recruiting experts in priority product categories to write for our blog. Check out this overview of the Viewpoints Category Expert Program, including qualifications, compensation and how to apply.