Tuesday, November 8, 2011

(empo-tuulwey) How to recognise different persons from very close to an espresso machine

Some items, such as dentures, are pretty much designed to be used by one person. Other items can be shared by multiple people. However, each person may have a preferred way of doing things.

Take espresso. Your high-end espresso machines can be pretty complex, with a lot of different settings. One person might want to have his or her espresso drink made one way, while another may prefer another group of settings. Each person could laboriously set everything each time, or (remember that these are high-end machines) the espresso machine could store the preferences for each user. Then, all that the user has to do is provide the espresso machine with the proper identity, and then the espresso machine will configure itself for that particular person.

So HOW do you tell the espresso machine who you are?

Remember the private biometrics mailing list to which I subscribe? (I mentioned it here.) Well, someone in the list referenced the Saeco Xelsis Digital ID One Touch Espresso Machine. And when they say "one touch," they mean it.

If the mere ability to store 6 individual users with a full drink menu for each weren't enough for you, the Saeco Xelsis Digital ID turns it up a notch with the home espresso industry's very first fingerprint reader. The Xelsis Digital ID will remember 6 unique fingerprints. Rather than scrolling through icons that represent each user, simply place your fingertip on the reader....The Saeco Xelsis Digital ID will automatically change to your user profile, which can be programmed with most any name of your choosing. The color touch panel allows each user to program their favorite drinks into each of the 6 one touch beverage buttons and then program a name for each user profile. That's a whopping 36 unique drinks in one compact appliance. If you've ever stumbled to your espresso machine, pushed your once-favorite button, and got some foreign drink, you are going to love having your own user profile.

In effect, the "one touch" serves two distinct purposes - it identifies the user, and (depending upon which of the six buttons you press) identifies a specific drink.

And JL Hufford sells this convenience for less than $2,500. Specifically, one dollar less than $2,500.

I'm waiting for the civil liberties folks to get up in arms about this intrusion into privacy. Hey, it could happen - what if a small six-person company installed one of these espresso machines, and then required you to register your print with the device if you wanted company coffee? Would the company's lawyers be asked to provide each employee with a complete statement regarding how employee personal data from the coffee machine would be used? If one person is making ten cups of coffee a day, I'm sure that the company's health plan would like to know about it.

P.S. Some of you make have ascertained that the title of this post is a play on a Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch entitled "How to recognise different types of trees from quite a long way away." This explains why I didn't use a Zed in the title.

P.P.S. The larch.
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