Five best high-tech drinks dispensers
Getting a cool beverage is no longer an analogue activity. A whole host of high tech solutions have been unveiled over the last few years to get an ice cold drink in your hot little hand in a decidedly digital way. Here's our top five of the Jetsons-esque soft drink machines of the future. Cheers!
No surprise to see the king of carbonation investing in the future. The high-tech here is that this machine will mix over 100 different drinks to order without needing an enormous stock of cans and bottles - provided they're made by Coca-Cola, of course.
All it needs is a supply of sweeteners, flavours and carbonated water and it'll dispense all your favourite fizzy treats and host of ones like Peach Fanta and Raspberry Coke that aren't even available in the shops.
It's also internet connected to the Coca-Cola network so that restocking is taken care of as and when it's needed.
Future Factor: 8/10 - LCD touchscreen, online and all new flavours
Sapient Vending Machine
Of course, if you need a drink in something a little sturdier than a paper cup, you could put your money in the Sapient bottle dispenser as soon as 2010.
A nice big LCD gives the opportunity to have a good old look at the details of the product before you buy it, just in case you've never tried Diet Coke.
Future Factor: 3/10 - Not a lot new to get excited about apart from the fact it takes credit cards
Hitachi Biometric Vendor
It's not so much the way this one serves the drinks as how it charges you for them. Hitachi has developed a machine with a scanner that reads blood flow through the user's finger in order to identify the exact customer it's dealing with.
Finger vein authentication offers unique identification and so the ability to charge someone remotely as well as advertise specifically according to each individual's spending habits.
Future Factor: 9/10 - Not a million miles from choosing your drink for you
Earthquake Emergency Machine
Not one you're likely to use - or at least we hope not - this machine will switch to "Free Mode" if a natural disaster occurs and will supply victims with as much clean drinking water as possible. It's designed for Japan and other earthquake-prone nations who might be too polite to take a rock to the thing in times of crisis.
It comes with battery back up, can stock as many as 600 bottles and is simply dying to be hacked by some unscrupulous person out there.
Future Factor: 2/10 - Just a fancy new switch really but a bonus two marks for humanitarian efforts
No future drinks machine round up would be complete without everyone's favourite beer bot, Mr Asahi. He can serve up to 16 bottles of beer at a time in just 10 seconds or dish out nice cold half pints instead. Not likely to be adorning your living room at £130,000 in cost and 670kg in mass but fingers crossed we might see him at the other end of a busy bar while the staff spend half an hour mixing mojitos.
Future Factor: 10/10 It doesn't get much more future than a robot slave