Still icked-out by the thought of your coffee machine churning out steaming cups of Campbell’s tomato soup? Well, then you probably won’t be thrilled to hear that over in Switzerland, Nestlé’s cutting-edge “health lab” has some serious Nespresso-meets-Soylent single-serve-supplement tech in the works. Quaintly code-named “Iron Man,” the product is still years away from the completion, but the basic idea is that the machine will use consumer-specific data to formulate and dispense Über-multivitamins, in yummy drink form.
The multivitamin itself may be experiencing some criticism from PhDs, but the scope of the Nespresso machine goes beyond it, with the institute’s head asking people to imagine “food at the press of a button,” and intimating that the nutrient-pod machines “can be the next microwave in your kitchen.” The world’s diets suck for all kinds of reasons, and Nestlé’s fifteen-scientist team argues the contraption would address myriad issues, not to mention curb high diabetes and heart-disease rates. Still, Soylent costs about $3 per serving, and right now, these machines run $500,000; the going rate for a “complete profile” of supplements is “well over $1,000.” In order for any for this to catch on, it seems, the price of the nutritious slurry will have to come down to less than the price of that proverbial cup of coffee.