Science/Tech

Coffee delivery drone patented by IBM

IBM has developed a new form of coffee delivery—with a twist. Their new invention, a coffee-delivering drone, has received a patent. According to the company, this machine can identify the cognitive state of office workers. Once their state has been identified, the drone will lower cups of coffee on an “unspooling string” in order to deliver the energy drink to the worker.

 

The patent was filed in the United States, where the patenting process can often cost thousands of dollars. The document illustrates several variations of the drink delivery drone. In one example, rather than lowering coffee on an unspooling stream, the drone dispenses coffee directly into the worker’s mug. In another option, hot drinks are delivered within a sealed bag—likely to prevent scalding drips from harming workers. Alternatively, individuals may be able to summon the coffee-dispensing drone with a hand gesture.

 

IBM suggests that this technology—the drone, in particular—could also be equipped to detect blood pressure, pupil dilation, and facial expressions. This data could be compiled and analyzed to determine if a worker is feeling tired. This invention is just one part of IBM’s recent push toward artificial intelligence development.

 

It is unclear if IBM plans to produce and market their coffee drone; the company has yet to release a statement other than the initial patent release. Tech companies, especially large corporations with several interests, often produce products without the intention to sell them—at least, not in the near future. While this technology may ease the minimal burden of walking across an office to get coffee, its purpose is, likely, to prove a machine’s ability to “detect” human emotions through the analysis of various bodily measurements.

 

Read the original article at BBC News.

According to former Starbucks CEO, climate change threatens your cup of coffee

In an interview with Time magazine, form Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz warned that climate change ranks among the company’s biggest challenges. Rising temperatures and lengthy droughts have made it tougher and more expensive to grow the coffee beans the chain needs to remain active. He said that climate change is going to play a bigger role in affecting the quality and integrity of coffee worldwide—not just at Starbucks locations.

 

At the time of the interview, Schultz was visiting a Starbucks farm in Costa Rica. This particular farm grows and roasts Arabica coffee, but it also serves as an essential research center for the company. It allows Starbucks to study the impact of climate change on growing coffee. Though the research center was built specifically for Starbucks, Schultz wants to share the implications of their data with the world. He says that if the information is not widely spread, there will be “tremendous adverse pressure on the coffee industry.”

 

The risks climate change poses to coffee are not new. In 2016, a report from Australia-based Climate Institute said the total growing area for coffee worldwide would be cut in half by 2050. A 2017 study published by “Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences” said the decline in areas could drop even further. It found that certain regions in Latin America could decline by as much as 88 percent by 2050.

 

Schultz himself, though no longer the CEO of Starbucks, holds the honorary title of chairman emeritus. This designation adds more weight to his statements; no longer the chairman or CEO, he has no responsibility to the company. His words should not be taken lightly by coffee companies and consumers.

 

Read the original article at USA Today.

Smart coffee maker allows users to control every aspect of brewing

A new brewing system is taking the “Smart Coffee Maker” market by storm. The Behmor Connected Brewing System, which retails for around $170, allows users to pre-program and control multiple aspects of the brewing process. The controls are accessible via smartphone and, yes, your Amazon Echo.

 

This new brewing system can be preprogrammed to start brewing at any time. You can set the machine to pre-saturate your grounds for as long as you prefer, allowing for optimal flavor and caffeine extraction. You can control the temperature (anywhere between 190 and 210 degrees Fahrenheit), and you can share control with various users—family, coworkers, or housemates. That is, if you want to.

 

The Behmore Connected Brewing System is also durable and made to withstand pretty much anything. The double-walled steel carafe can keep your coffee hot for several hours, and the machine itself looks pretty great on a kitchen counter. The smart functions are optional, which means users can also brew their coffee by manually inputting relevant information on the machine itself.

 

Additionally, this device can’t complete a few operations. It can’t, for example, grind your coffee beans. It can’t fill its own reservoir with water, and it can’t clean itself after you brew a pot. However, when it comes to convenience, unmatched control, and automatic timing, we don’t really mind grinding our own beans.

 

Read the original article at Business Insider.