Austin’s eclectic coffees are a point of pride, fitting nicely into the city’s mantra, “Keep Austin Weird.” Now a local company is setting out to disrupt the widespread coffee shop culture by introducing an “intelligent” Coffee Haus, a high-tech coffee kiosk touted as an alternative to the abundance of friendly baristas around town.
The sleek machine by Briggo uses robotics to imitate the precision of a skilled barista, promising the same quality as nearby coffee shops. The first kiosk, located on the University of Texas campus, allows customers to order coffee through a touchscreen or the Briggo smartphone app that tracks the status of a drink. Students can even pre-order coffee on the way to class, the Washington Post reports.
The kiosk currently only offers a single, medium-to-dark roast blend of Guatemalan, Costa Rican and Colombian beans. But while it doesn’t do single-origin coffees, it does offer a variety of coffee drinks.
Briggo, a five-year-old company of 20 staff including two ex-Starbucks executives, plans to take its brainchild nationwide, but first will tackle the quirky city of Austin. With $11 million in funding, Briggo will infiltrate the Austin airport before installing Coffee Hauses in hospitals, airports and corporate campuses across the nation.
It’s probably a far cry from entirely replacing baristas, as most coffee shops also offer human interaction and variation on coffee beans. But be warned coffee slingers, someday these robots may steal your job.