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New Keurig Brewer Uses RFID Recipe Tag to Make the Perfect Cup

Based on a beverage pack tag ID number, the Vue V1200 adopts the optimal temperature, timing and airflow settings, according to that beverage pack's particular needs.
By Claire Swedberg
Users are free, however, to override the RFID-based recipe and custom-brew the beverage according to their own preferences. The Vue system allows users to select from eight varying sizes of brew, ranging from four ounces to a travel-mug size of 18 ounces, as well as a brewing temperature range between 187 degrees and 198 degrees Fahrenheit (86 degrees to 92 degrees Celsius). Individuals select the settings by touching an interactive touch screen on the brewer.

Keurig's Dave Manly
"This [RFID] technology took more than two years for our engineering teams to develop," says Dave Manly, the VP and general manager of Keurig's Away From Home Marketing and Digital Direct division. "We have been working on interactive technologies for some time now, even in advance of the Vue development cycle."

In fact, the company began carrying out tests in 2010 on the use of UHF EPC Gen 2 RFID technology in its Keurig B80K home-based brewers. Testing focused on obtaining a high read rate accuracy, Manly explains, as well as the ability to apply the tag onto each portion packet accurately and efficiently on a high-speed production line in a cost-efficient way. The company ultimately chose to develop the system in its new Vue product for out-of-the-home applications. The testing of tagged packets with the brewer's built-in reader was undertaken in Keurig's laboratory and "in the field," within typical consumer environments. The brewer's reader and antennas are installed in such a way that the distance from the Vue pack allows for accurate and repeatable reads, Manly says, though he declines to specify where in the brewer the reader is installed, or to name the company providing the RFID tags that it uses. Other Vue brewers, such as the V700 model, operate with their own beverage packs that do not include the RFID tag.

If a beverage pack lacking an RFID tag were used with the Vue V1200, the device could still function. However, the user would need to select his or her preferences on the touch screen.

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