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Modern bottled beverages come in a plethora of flavors… cherry, vanilla, chocolate, lemon, lime, and turkey & gravy to name but a few. Most of those drinks are available in diet and regular versions, each of which may or may not have a caffeine-free variety. As if our teeth weren’t already cringing at the thought of rotting away in a brutal shower of carbonated high-fructose corn syrup, many companies are now multiplying our diabetes-inducing pleasure with zany flavor combinations. But recently the Innovation Team (exclamation point) at Ipifini has introduced their Programmable Liquid Container technology, a drink packaging concept which should make flavor fusions such as “black cherry vanilla” look downright pedestrian in comparison.

A Programmable Liquid Container looks much like an ordinary drink bottle, but it is filled with a simple “cola base,” and the circumference of its upper half is decorated with six colorful additive compartments. Each compartment might contain one of any number of possible substances, such as flavor syrups, vitamins, herbal supplements, caffeine, fragrances, etc… it is limited only by the cola distributors’ imaginations. The consumer can then press one or more of the buttons to create the desired combination of flavors and features.

The idea offers several advantages over conventional cola distribution. Using the Programmable Liquid Container , a beverage company could consolidate all variations of a cola into one bottle… for example, a Diet Coke base might have additives for lemon, lime, orange, cherry, vanilla, and caffeine. This would provide sixty-four possible combinations, only forty-eight of which are nasty. This technology also allows cola manufacturers to reduce the complexity of their production and supply systems, and it allows them to introduce new varieties with very little risk or effort.

The idea is extremely clever, though the execution might benefit from some refinement. It is a foregone conclusion that meddlesome persons will pre-push the flavor buttons on the bottles, which spells refreshment disaster for the unsuspecting. There is also the question of how to properly mix in the additives without shaking the bottle and precipitating an unwelcome geyser of flavorful fizz. And, to be quite frank, there’s something fundamentally disturbing about smashing blister-shaped nodules to cause colored syrups to ooze into one’s drink. But none of these flaws are insurmountable, and it is certain that if anyone can make it work, it’s the Innovation Team (exclamation point).

Ipifini has also developed variations on the bottle design to work with aluminum cans and juice packets, as well as non-beverage applications such as pigment additives on paint cans and— perhaps most promisingly— pre-measured medication additives on IV bags.

More info:
Ipifini’s product description (Adobe Acrobat file)

via Admit One