When people think about wireless technology, smart phones, laptops, or routers (that magic box that gives you Wi-Fi) usually come to mind. Yet wireless capabilities have spread into more novel applications. The most exciting of these uses is machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, which enables any number of connected devices to be monitored and controlled remotely. Tesla, for example, updates their vehicles wirelessly, and companies like Nest Labs have long been pushing the concept of a “smart home” sporting a network of intelligently connected appliances and devices. Nestlé SA is the first coffee company to extensively utilize M2M tech in coffee machines, adding significant measures of value and control for Nestlé’s professional customers, enabling the spread of specialty coffee choices, and providing an excellent case-study on how the coffee industry can utilize M2M and wireless technology.
Nestlé: expanding the scope of M2M
Nestlé’s first M2M capable machine came in 2012 with the Nespresso Zenius, a pod-based machine from Nespresso’s business line. In the Zenius, M2M allows remote tracking of maintenance procedures, alerting staff if maintenance is required. Machine temperature and pressure are also tracked, and can be remotely adjusted to ensure a consistent brew. 2013 saw the introduction of the Nescafé Milano Lounge model, a self-serve machine capable of brewing a variety of speciality coffee beverages. Equipped with wireless capabilities similar to the Zenius, it also allows customers to remotely track consumption data so that they might better utilize the machine’s targeted promotion features.