When it comes to the food industry the most recent technological developments regularly give way to pretty innovative products. Here is a look at some of the cutting-edge developments just coming out.
• Coke Freestyle — Vending Machine of the Future: Coca-Cola announced plans this week to develop a marketing campaign based around their new futuristic vending machines that offer 125 soft-drink flavors. The plan will be inspired by data that the company is collecting about how consumers use the machines — which drinks are most popular at certain times of day, etc.
• iPads Take Over Restaurants: Though electronic menus are being used in a handful of restaurants worldwide, recently opened Atlanta pizza restaurant, Do, is taking things a step further by using iPads to manage everything from their menus to their inventory. Using the tablet's software, the staff at Do can update daily specials, remove dishes from the menu as they run out, and track sales quickly and easily. Customers even have the option of alerting the valet when paying the check.
• Baguette Vending Machine: French baker and entrepreneur Jean-Louis Hecht has created a vending machine that dispenses freshly-baked baguettes to hungry Parisians 24-hours a day. Hecht loads up the machines (there are currently two) with par-cooked loaves each morning and then the bread finishes baking when an order is placed.
• Cookie-Baking Robot: Scientists of MIT's Distributed Robotics Lab have programmed a PR2 robot that mixes cookie dough and then bakes it successfully. The price on one of these machines — affectionately known as "BakeBot" — is $400,000.
The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.