Samsung puts Galaxy tablets in Illy coffee shops

The "digitalised by Samsung" deal will also see Illy coffee in Samsung showrooms.

Luke Westaway/CNET

Samsung has formed a strategic alliance with coffee-company Illy, in a deal that will see the South Korean tech giant's tablet technology on display in Illy coffee shops.

The deal, announced Monday, means that some Illy shops will feature Samsung demonstration booths where you can toy with tablets such as the Galaxy Note 10.1. Samsung has also vowed to provide slightly-eerie-sounding 'Samsung Angels' to tutor customers through the gadgets' features.

Putting tablets in coffee shops sounds like a smart idea, especially for tasks like ordering drinks. The tablets I tried at Samsung and Illy's London event were lacking this feature however, and while you could use an app to see price lists or decorate a virtual Illy espresso cup using the Note 10.1's stylus (see my attempt above), you couldn't then purchase or 3D print that cup.

No Galaxy espresso machine

While the deal suggests Samsung may be taking a greater interest in lifestyle tech, Samsung Electronics' executive vice president YoungHee Lee remarked in a Q&A that the company has no plans to make an espresso machine.

"We have never thought about it," Lee said. "We are not the experts, we have no intention."

While Samsung supplies technology for Illy, the deal also works the other way around -- Illy will provide a "superior coffee experience" to Samsung events and showrooms, so you can enjoy a cup of joe while you peruse the latest Galaxy products. The first coffee shop to be, as the two companies put it, "digitalised by Samsung" is a new cafe on London's Regent Street.

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