Keurig Dr Pepper has filed a patent for an apparatus and method that allows beverage preparation machines to share capsule image data and beverage preparation parameters with a remote computer system via the internet. The remote computer system can process the capsule image data to determine characteristics of the capsule, track a user’s consumption of capsules, compare it to their past purchase history, and determine if their supply is running low. GlobalData’s report on Keurig Dr Pepper gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s company profile on Keurig Dr Pepper, intelligent beverage dispenser was a key innovation area identified from patents. Keurig Dr Pepper's grant share as of June 2023 was 1%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.
Sharing capsule image data and beverage preparation parameters
A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230172388A1) describes a beverage preparation machine with innovative features. The machine includes a cartridge receiver that can move between an open and closed position. An imaging device is located on the cartridge receiver and captures an image of a portion of the beverage cartridge as the receiver is closed.
The cartridge receiver consists of a top and bottom portion, with the imaging device located on the top portion. It captures an image of at least a portion of the lid of the beverage cartridge. A trigger is present to detect the closing of the cartridge receiver, and the imaging device is controlled by a controller based on this trigger. The trigger can detect when the imaging device has reached a set angle relative to the lid of the beverage cartridge, with the set angle being a perpendicular angle.
The machine also includes a lighting element that illuminates the portion of the beverage cartridge. The imaging device, lighting element, and trigger are all located on the top portion of the cartridge receiver. The controller turns on the lighting element when the cartridge receiver is in the open position and turns it off when the receiver is closed.
The controller is capable of decoding information from the captured image. This decoded information can include beverage preparation parameters. The controller can transmit this decoded information to a remote computer. The machine also has a memory to store data, and the controller can store the decoded information in the memory when the machine is not connected to a network. Once network connectivity is established, the controller can transmit the decoded information to a remote computer and discard it from the memory.
Additionally, the patent describes a method for using the beverage preparation machine. The method involves placing a beverage cartridge in the cartridge receiver while it is in the open position and then moving the receiver to the closed position. As the receiver is being closed but not yet entirely closed, the imaging device is triggered to capture an image of a portion of the beverage cartridge. The imaging device can capture an image of at least a portion of the lid of the beverage cartridge. The machine can then decode information from the captured image.