Coke introduces new machine for adventuresome drinkers

If you thought cable TV offered too many choices when it started displacing the big three broadcast networks, the newest Coca-Cola Freestyle soda machines probably aren't for you.

The Freestyle machine is billed as the "Fountain of the Future," a touch-screen, Wi-Fi-enabled, tracking-chip-equipped, soda-dispensing gizmo designed by automaker Ferrari. It uses medication-dosing technology to create some 125 Coca-Cola products, many of which, like Orange Coke and Vanilla Sprite Zero, aren't available in bottles anywhere.

The machines are just starting to hit Charlotte. Moe's Southwest Grill will be debuting a Freestyle machine for customers at the EpiCentre complex in uptown. And Taco Mac has been using them for several weeks at its SouthPark and University City locations.

"This is a really big innovation in the fountain business," said John Sicher, publisher of the trade publication Beverage Digest. "No one has anything comparable."

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