A few years ago I purchased a Keurig coffee maker, mainly to see how the whole process played out in my daily life. Needless to say I am hopelessly hooked and regularly buy specialty coffee or use my custom refill pod to grind my own beans. Apparently DRM is not limited to audiobooks, ebooks, music or videos, but is rearing its ugly head at Keurig.
Keurig, Tassimo, and Nespresso have been locked in a battle over your primarily coffee maker. The companies see the device being a gateway to buying refills from your local supermarket or buying them direct from a website. Recently, we have been seeing third party re-sellers start to make their own refills and undercutting the brands by offering them for 25% of less for their coffee.
Why are we suddenly seeing an influx of K-Cup competition? This is because the patent on the technology recently expired. This allows anyone to basically approach established coffee companies and get their beans in their brand of cup, and then market it to people that already have a Keurig.
Keurig is borrowing a page out of eBook, music and video DRM and employing it in a model coming out this year. Dubbed the Keurig 2.0, it will have technology that will lockout unauthorized K-Cups. The company will be using this encryption system on all models going forward. Surprisingly it is estimated that 13% of US homes currently have a Keurig and its turning into a billion dollar business.
I honestly feel like DRM is permeating every aspect of my life now. I read on my tablet and e-reader books i don’t really own. I watch streaming internet television where my DRM is disabled with certain content. Why not my coffee too?
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.