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Exploring the Coffee/Skynet Connection

Farberware Coffee Robot

We’ve been keeping an eye on Skynet for some time now. And it occurs to us that, just like in Terminator 2, the people who bring about our computer overlords will probably not have any idea what they’re bringing about. Innocently, they will bring about the end of the world as we know it. And they’ll probably be geeks. Which means they’ll probably be coffee drinkers.

This theory of mine is underscored by the following video, in which…well, just watch for yourself:

Direct link for the feedreaders. (Found at Hobbymedia via GeekAlerts.)

That’s right, I can sense your apprehension even through the tubes of the Internet. Surely if somebody can program a robot to do the various bits of coffee prep and shoot them individually then cut them together in a vid, we’re only years–nay, possibly even months–from a robotic presence that can make coffee using one program. And indeed, once it’s fed up making coffee for us…it will make coffee for itself. That’s right–because we all know with self-awareness comes the awareness of the need…for coffee.

Am I just being paranoid? Perhaps. It’s true that there are perfectly excellent applications of technology that involve coffee and yet don’t seem destined to end the world. Take Dunkin Run, for instance.

Dunkin Run

[ad#longpost]No, it’s not a remake of Logan’s Run set in a high school. It’s actually a pretty brilliant setup by Dunkin Donuts both on the web and on the iPhone. It’s a collaborative tool that lets somebody announce they’re going to Dunkin Donuts and people can throw in their orders for that somebody to snag while they’re there. So Dunkin Donuts isn’t just getting the runner’s business, but all the people who hopped on board the Dunkin wagon. Brilliant.

Mashable (their original article is where we found this) says that this service will do everything but place the orders for you. But that would be cool–the iPhone is smart enough to know when you’re within distance of the store so it beams the info there and lets said store get it ready so they can hand it to you when you arrive. And as for paying for it, wouldn’t it be sweet if the service stored everybody’s individual credit card info so that the runner didn’t have to worry about collecting cash from everyone? It just went ahead and charged against the accounts for all the people who hopped on the wagon? And then if you wanted to get crazy, you could even rig the service so it would sense when you were close enough to the place you left from and then ping everybody that you were back with the goods.

Yes, this is what I think about instead of having a life. But my rates are very reasonable.