Keurig goes DRM.

Keurig’s newest coffee makers will be designed to only work with Keurig kcups. Keurig (and their parent company Green Mountain Roasters) appear to be conspiring to block the competition. The patent Keurig had on kcups ran out in 2012, leading to lots of competitors products.

I own a Keurig 1.0, so I am not directly affected, but one day my brewer will die. I’m assuming workarounds will be discovered to disable this DRM move, but is this the way things are headed?

(This seems like a topic ripe for debate, but being coffee-centric would fit as easily in CS)

If the patent’s up, couldn’t you buy a non-Keurig machine that uses k-cups? Their machines aren’t inherently better, are they?

What is the debate? Whether or not it’s a good idea?

The marketplace will decide that debate. In general, I think the idea is to produce machines that provide an ongoing revenue from the consumable, much like printers and ink.

I don’t think there’s much debate that that is a good idea if you can pull it off.

Well, Keurig makes nice machines and they make “the guts” of some other company’s machines. I own a Mr Coffee, but it has Keurig’s mechanism and carries their stamp.

Is anyone currently making k-cup using machines other than Keurig? The patent that expired was on the k-cups, not the brewer.

But will the new model have three blades or five?

(And when will people stop getting suckered by junk-lock products?)

I’m sure if the market is there then the machines will be made that don’t interact with the pods. Don’t see how you could restrict the sale of a compatible machine. The DRM can only work work one way (i.e. the smart consumable can’t affect the dumb hardware).
That supposes that there is money to be made in the hardware of course and the lesson of the printer market is that perhaps there isn’t.

I looked into the cost of these machines recently and was astonished at how much each serving cost. Here in the UK at least you were looking at around 40-50p a shot!!! My regular espresso coffee is the equivalent of under 10p a shot. No wonder Keurig want to restrict you!

I’ll stick with my nuts and bolts machine I think. It’s a 50 year old design and obsolescence is not going to be a problem.

Luddite. You just don’t get this “progress” thing, do you?

:smiley:

I just can’t tell y’all how much this news has made my day. And it started off pretty crappy. Dum de dum de dum, dummm.

I have a Keurig and it’s failed five separate times, this last time out of warranty. There is no way I’m going to pick up another one. Keurig has designed their products to fail, in my opinion.

Now that they are attempting to “lock in” the cups to their machines, my evaluation goes: “So, not only will I have to replace/buy six machines over the next five years, I’ll also have to pay 25c a serving with no other purchase options?”

The answer for me is easy: Not worth it. I like being able to make a single cup, because I’m rarely at home in the mornings longer than a single cup. But I’m fairly confident I can find another solution that’s both more reliable and cheaper to boot.

^The AeroPress is very nice . . .

(While my Keurig has had problems, they’ve been simple to fix.)

My hope is that as companies try to expand the use of intellectual property to extract more and more wealth from consumers people will wise up and become more hostile to the concept. So while I don’t drink coffee I am hoping the new machine tanks and tanks hard enough to serve as a warning to other companies. But I have no idea what the private-single-coffee market is like so I have no idea if it will happen though so I’m not much help in the debate, I’m afraid.

The trend is the opposite direction. The junk-lock or “razor and blades” model used to be restricted to the shaving aisle. It’s now all over the place and consumers are so suckered by the promise of “convenience” that their frontal lobes short out.

But we’ll hear from a long line of Keurigistas whose lives were Utterly Transformed by their expensive, inefficient, arm-twisting, wallet-emptying K-cupsters.

Yes: Here’s one from Hamilton Beach.

Here’s one from Cuisinart.

How the hell is the machine going to know whether the cup is Officially Licensed or whatever? It can’t be cost effective to put RFID chips in every 20 cent cup can it?

Well, if you look at the Cuisinart model, it carries Keurig’s logo. I can’t find confirmation right now, but I’m assuming any new model will have Keurig’s DMR mod. I’d like to look at the Hamilton Beach closer to see if it has Keurig mechanics.

French presses aren’t patented, they’re simple to use, easy to replace, and they make great coffee. People choose to make themselves subject to gee-whiz gadgets covered by IP rights. I have no sympathy for them.
Given that, however, I think that the Lexmark cases show that DRM can’t be used to prevent interoperability with third-party compatible components.

Recognition doesn’t have to be RFID, but yes, I’m curious what their method will be. And how easily the device can be jail broken.

By the average Keurig user? It could be a plastic peg on the K2 cups and it may as well be AES-256.

There will be no aftermarket cups or refillables if the system is patented, so the jailbreak will be limited to those willing to screw around refilling legit K2’s, which will be the same cheap subset that refills ink carts. Insignificant to the market or Keurig.

I don’t see why they don’t just use the honor system.

Ah, didn’t notice that.

There’s also the Bunn MyCafe, which doesn’t have a Keurig logo.