Keurig coffee makers were at the front of the java market for the better part of the last six years, but now the company is in a bit of a decline. Its inventor, John Sylvan, even told The Atlantic last year that he doesn’t own one and thinks drip coffee is just as easy.
Most of Keurig’s profits, back when it was making profits, came from the sale of its K-cups, the single-serve pods that contain the coffee grounds. The company lost its patent for K-cups in 2012, sending the brand spiraling into a decline from which it has yet to recover.
Modern companies have taken note of Keurig’s once-successful business model and are now hoping to improve on it as they look to bring the next “Keurig of X” product to the market. Not only are startups like CannaKorp and Temptu making a better effort to lock consumers into ecosystems that call back the heyday of K-cups, but they’re improving on Kuerig’s low-tech approach by tapping into the burgeoning Internet of Things home appliance movement.
Here are some the craziest “Keurig of X” companies of 2016, from the most absurd to possibly practical.
1. The Keurig of tortilla makers
Few have thought to themselves, “Packaged tortillas are too frustrating, I’m going to buy a machine that makes them for me.” Yet, that’s exactly what Flatev is offering. The machine allows users to insert a normal, Keurig-looking pod into the device, shut the door, push a button, and get a freshly made tortilla. Instead of coffee grounds, these pods simply hold dough and come in various flavors like cinnamon and chili.
Flatev looks rather delightful: an efficient and less messy way to make fresh tortillas at home. But then you see the price.
When and if this device goes up for sale, it will retail for a whopping $847, with two batches of tortillas included (yay). Early backers of its Kickstarter who pledge $199 will get $238 off of the device — a grand savings of $39. Flatev has raised $109,871 from 514 backers already but intends to campaign through June.
2. The Keurig of cannabis
With weed becoming legal in states across the nation, the once-frowned-upon drug is going corporate. CannaKorp is introducing a vaporizer that uses a pod delivery system. According to the company’s website: “Pods are pre-ground cannabis flower that are sealed to lock in flavor, aroma and freshness that ensures a great experience every time.”
If it’s successful, users would really be locked into the company’s “CannaCups,” which sort of goes against the whole “freedom” thing that advocates for legal weed have promised. CannaKorp says it will launch in 2017 in authorized markets for a yet-to-be-disclosed price.
3. The Keurig of airbrush makeup
Airbrushed makeup is typically reserved for a fancy outing and applied in a salon or beauty store where the service is offered. But, what if it were possible to have the technology in your home?
Temptu offers a pod-based air brush, which, like other conventional devices, uses compressed air to give an even foundation base. The only difference is the pod-delivery system, which is suppose to be even more simple. Of course, that’s up for debate, as using the thing requires the mastering of its many buttons and various valves.
For $399, Temptu consumers get the device along with several “airpods” and a bag.
4. The Keurig of smart wine pourers
Every true wine connoisseur knows the complicated plight of wanting several types of spirits on hand but also not wanting to leave a bunch of half-empty bottles in the kitchen to spoil. Kuvée claims it has a solution with its smart wine bottle.
Its wine cartridges remain sealed before and after being inserted into its wifi-connected bottle to be poured. The device’s touch screen knows what wine is inserted and delivers the history and vineyard information about that specific wine. Users can also order new wines directly from the bottle’s touch screen, which range from $15 to $30. The bottle itself costs $179.
5. The Keurig of juicers
The best Keurig-inspired devices take something that’s naturally hard and makes it easy. No other device on this list accomplishes that task better than Juicero’s juicer.
Instead of going through the hassle of washing and cutting up all the vegetables and fruits one would need to blend to make a small of glass, Juicero offers a pre-blended bag that straps to the device and squeezes right into a cup. Juicero says its packs are filled with organic produce that’s “sourced, washed, chopped, and delivered within days of harvest.”
Customers have to live in an area Juicero can deliver to, and this large device will cost $699. Also, you better like their juice offerings, because only the company’s pre-packed bags, which cost from $4 to $10 each, work on the device.
6. The Keurig of smart boxed wine
It’s called Somm (undoubtedly a play on the name for a sommelier wine expert) and like Kuvée it uses wine cartridges that keep the alcohol fresh for longer. The difference with Somm is that it learns its users’ preferences through the connected smartphone app in order to deliver different levels of aeration and new recommended wines. The creators say that, much like Spotify, the more users interact with the app, the more Somm will learn. The app not only gives the option to like or dislike wines, but it also breaks them down into their individual fruit tastes to deliver an opinion on those sub-flavors, as well.
The device costs $300 or $200 for backers who donate that much on Kickstarter, and it’s set for a late 2016 delivery day. If you haven’t noticed the theme yet, cartridges are offered exclusively through the company and will run between $15 to $150.