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Coca Cola Freestyle: Pour 2 Freestyle Drinks & Get AMC Ticket

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A Foodie's Guide to Brooklyn, N. Coca-Cola and Coffee Granita.

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Corporate Transparency. Wellbeing, Amplified: smartbeats by smartwater Explores the Science of Sound. First off, Coca-Cola has owned these identifiers since at least And while 16 million may sound like a lot, it's actually the smallest number of these unique identifiers you can reserve at one time.

Coca-Colla did not respond to a request for an interview about its Internet of Thing ambitions. But in all likelihood, these addresses are already being used in the company's Freestyle machines as well as the internet-connected vending machines it's testing in Texas.


That said, the decision to secure a block of addresses en masse may hint at even larger online ambitions for the company. All network cards have these unique identifiers, referred to as a "media access control address," or MAC address. These are separate from IP addresses assigned by internet service providers. If you use your laptop on your wireless network at home and then use it at on a wireless network at a coffee shop, your MAC address will remain the same but your IP address will change.

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A Foodie's Guide to Brooklyn, N. Coca Cola Freestyle gives you over drink choices inside this machine. Author: Louise Matsakis Louise Matsakis. Bad Mama Jama. Restaurants will also be able to access real-time updates on how much product is left in the machine and when it will run out. It's unlikely that Coca-Cola will burn through all 16 million MAC addresses with vending machines and soda fountains alone. They're known as Freestyle machines.

In that sense, a MAC address is more like a virtual serial number than a network address. These identifiers are usually reserved by companies that sell networking cards and equipment.

Because of how identifiers are generated, companies that want to reserve a block of addresses must do so in sets of 16 million, as Matherly explains. That's not a lot for a company like Cisco, which sells millions of network devices each year.

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But for companies like Coca-Cola, it may be more than they need. That said, the mere decision grab them by the block — as opposed to securing them one-by-one — shows Coke is serious about this internet thing.

In addition to the Freestyle machines, Coca-Cola has been testing web-connected vending machines in the Austin, Texas area and plans to roll out tens of thousands more, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The killer feature of a web-connected vending machine is the ability to process credit cards and mobile payments.

But the Freestyle machines and the smart vending machines also open a new frontier in collecting real-time data about customer behavior. Coca-Cola could greatly simplify logistics, as Businessweek points out, by making it possible to know when to restock a machine and how much inventory each one needs, without having to send a truck to each one first.

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That only scratches the surface, Matherly says. For example, the company could determine which arrangements of drinks lead to the most sales, and it could customize the displays on each individual machine depending on what works best for its customers. It's unlikely that Coca-Cola will burn through all 16 million MAC addresses with vending machines and soda fountains alone. There are only about 6 to 7 million vending machines total in the entire United States, according to a spokesperson at USA Technologies, a company that sells payment processing systems for vending machines and other retailers.