Looking at the homepage for the new SodaStream Professional is like looking back in time. The page features pictures of the connected sparkling water device in the middle of an office as workers stride by, seemingly without a care in the world, sans facemasks.
I bring that up not to poke fun at Pepsico, but because the world that the company imagines for its new device, is far different from the one we currently live in.
Pepsico announced the new Sodastream Professional over the weekend. It’s a carbonated water dispenser and mobile app system that allows users to choose from different unsweetened flavors, levels of carbonation and track their hydration. It will also tell you how many plastic bottles you saved/avoided using.
Pepsisco didn’t provide many other details for the SodaStream Professional (like pricing), but it seems to be a follow up to a similar product the company announced a little more than a year ago. That device was smaller (countertop instead of freestanding), but had the same capabilities and was going into testing last summer.
In the press release, Pepsico said it was bringing “customizable beverages to workplaces, college campuses and airports.” But those are three locales that are either shut down or severely diminished, thanks to the global pandemic. There isn’t as much call for a sparkling water dispenser for the masses when there aren’t masses of people in any given location.
At least the SodaStream Professional appears to be contactless, with control via the mobile app.
The SodaStream Professional faces competition for your sparkling water dollars. Bevi makes similar fizzy/still flavored water dispenser for offices (and introduced its own touchless tech in June). And the Rocean was supposed to put its sparkling water dispensers at the Conrad New York hotel this past spring, but who knows how that went.
It should be noted that the SodaStream Professional is a good idea. We need to use fewer plastic bottles and drink less sugary sodas and this device seems like it can help with that. I just would like to hop in a time machine and fast forward to when we can safely go back to the office and use one.