On May 6th 2019 reputable news source, GeekWire, broke the news that the global coffee merchant, Starbucks, is entering a partnership with the equally as global tech giant, Microsoft. The reason of this unexpected marriage is one which involves using Microsoft’s Azure blockchain to streamline and enhance many of Starbucks’ services.
While at the Microsoft Build developers conference on May 6th, the two companies outlined a list of initiatives they were working together on. These initiatives included systems which tracked the journey of a coffee bean and secured it with blockchain technology, as well as systems which used AI to ‘learn’ the preferences of Starbuck’s customers.
GeekWired reports that the following is a rundown of the initiatives being worked on as a result of this partnership:
- Predictive Drive Through Orders
By using the Azure cloud the Starbucks team aim to update their mobile app, which uses a customer’s order history to suggest a beverage. The wish to extend their ability to recommend drinks to the drive through, possibly with digital boards.
This system will work by, instead of using the app’s order history, focusing on store transaction histories and “more than 400 other store-level criteria” which include weather, inventory and time of day.
During the conference Microsoft did mention that customers can ‘opt in’ to personalised drive through recommendations. Hopefully this means that you wont be getting your licence plate or face scanned anytime soon.
- Connected Coffee Makers
Starbucks is essentially planning to use the Azure cloud to monitor all of their equipment, in every store. By connecting all their coffeemakers, grinders and blenders to an AI system they will be able to get a better insight to the health of any given machine.
By pulling over 12 data points for every shot of espresso which is poured the coffee giant is hoping to become more proactive in maintenance of their equipment.
The current lack of such information means that Starbucks have to wait until a machine breaks before they can repair it. By using the Azure cloud it is hoped they will be able to fix machines before they break in order to limit downtime.
Another benefit will be the ability to update all machines connected to the cloud at once. Presently Starbucks are required to send thousands of USB drives in order to update all their fleet of coffee makers. With the IoT cloud system they are working on this will be a thing of the past.
- Bean to cup blockchain
Microsoft intend to implement their Azure Blockchain Service in their partnership with Starbucks by using it to track the beans used in their coffee. Basically put, the aim with the bean to cup blockchain is as it probably sounds: to track the journey of each coffee bean.
Due to the immutable nature of data stored on publicly verifiable distributed ledger systems, data stored within a blockchain is incorruptible. It provides ability for manufacturers, farmers, distributors and customers to connect with each other.
There you have it, last week was pizza this week it’s coffee. I wonder what will be next week. Burgers?
Love, peace and happiness.