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Hooray for People -- Part 2: Freestyle Fountain

Freestyle Fountain. AKA Magic Bev Machine
What's better than one innovative engineering genius working on an idea to revolutionize tasty beverages? That's right, two innovative engineering geniuses! I would like to publicly thank Nilag Patel and Dean Kamen for inventing the Coke Freestyle Fountain --- a product that fundamentally changes the way carbonated beverages are dispensed.

The Freestyle --- Makes You Proud to Be a Person
Before the Freestyle, I seldom went to movies in a theater, preferring to pay Redbox a buck to sit on my old couch with a Diet Pepsi and watch a DVD. But then a new theater was built, perhaps for the sole reason of housing the Freestyle. Now, my entire family has invested in movie-theater-specific 32 oz mugs to take to our frequent movie theater outings. For a mere one dollar we can each take our turn at the Freestyle machine, a beautiful, shiny kiosk-like machine with a computer touch-screen interface that invites you to select from over a 100 beverage options. I can select Coke Zero, and then choose to add any type of flavoring: vanilla, lime, raspberry, etc.--I can mix Coke Zero with Orange Fanta, my son, who doesn't like carbonation, can select Hi-C and then choose any number of flavor combinations. Remember in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when Charlie first enters the factory and sees the chocolate river, the candy trees and grass---remember the awe he felt, and the vicarious awe you felt? That's what the new bev machine makes me feel---awe. And awe is a seldom-felt, powerful, life-changing emotion. Even now, after using it countless times, when I stand before that glossy, beautiful machine, I still feel it. And who's responsible? Nature? No. Magic? No. It's people. So hooray for people; thanks for making life worth living!

Read all about how the Freestyle Fountain works and how it was invented here: (Trust me, it's worth leaving my blog)
http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/next/archives/2009/09/coca-colas_free.html

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