iDrip, a Taiwan-made smart coffee maker that recreates a barista taste using artificial intelligence (AI) that simulates the manual brewing process has attracted the attention of coffee lovers worldwide, according to its investor, the National Development Council (NDC).
Speaking at a press conference on Sept. 17 in Taipei, NDC chief Chen Mei-ling said the agency has invested US$645,800 (NT$20 million) in the AI coffee maker project initiated by local entrepreneur John Yeh as part of the NDC's efforts to support and invest in startups in the nation.
According to the NDC, the iDrip database contains data on a number of champion baristas' brewing procedures and the manufacturer also produces coffee bags with specific barcodes, which represents corresponding data of the companions' brewing procedures.
Once the coffee bag with a specific barcode -- which varies from one coffee expert to another -- is inserted into the machine, the coffee maker will automatically connect to Wi-Fi, scan the code and make the coffee.
Chen said the manufacturer will also collect information regarding user preferences to make future marketing strategies.
According to Chen, the goal is to collaboration with local coffee providers and promote Taiwanese coffee to consumers worldwide. Chen said the NDC has showcased the iDrip when receiving foreign guests, and some have expressed interest in the product.
Although the coffee maker costs more than NT$30,000, sales have already reached over 2,000 since its launch in November 2018, the NDC said.
Since 2017, the NDC said, it has allocated a total of NT$706 million to provide funding support for startups.
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