MIT spinout Bevi has just come out with a smart beverage-dispensing machine of the same name that they reckon could be the next best thing to sliced cheese and the answer to cutting the world’s use of bottled drinks.

According to the start-up, the media-dubbed “eco-friendly water cooler” Bevi machines across the nation have already saved more than 4 million plastic bottles from ending up in landfills. The company claims that each Bevi machine can potentially eliminate the use of 35,000 plastic bottles annually. Machines are also being shipped to Hong Kong and Singapore for pilot testing in the coming months.

Bevi is constructed out of high-quality components inspired by medical devices and dispenses filtered, flavoured, carbonated tap water. Flavours can be customised to unsweetened raspberry or lime, pomegranate, and kiwi-strawberry, and consumers can select still or sparkling and adjust the sweetness of the flavouring.

The custom-made beverage-mixing system, which was co-founded and co-developed by MIT Sloan School of Management alumnus Sean Grundy MBA ’13 with classmate Frank Lee MBA ’13 and Rhode Island School of Design graduate Eliza Becton, uses traditional components and peristaltic pumps typically used in medical devices such as dialysis machines, to digitally control doses. Each machine is Internet-connected, the start-up can leverage real-time data to provide proactive services and maintenance.

The flavour data from the internet also helped the designers to identify which markets preferred sweeter flavours and which preferred drinking the healthy, zero-calorie options.

While I find the concept interesting and am sure that there will be markets for it, I still prefer the traditional mains water cooler that I bought from Living-Water in London, as if I had to get one of these machines my children would certainly not be drinking refreshing, healthy water but would be guzzling the sweetened version every chance they got.

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