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One Textspresso, coming right up

Zipwhip's Textspresso concept coffeemaker is exactly how it sounds. After texting your drink order to the one-off machine, it makes your brew and texts you back to let you know when it's ready for pickup.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Hack job

How is Textspresso possible? With some clever hacking and rigging, of course. Zipwhip peeled back the panel of an off-the-shelf De'Longhi espresso machine and stuffed in components of its own, including a circuit board, a memory card, and plenty of cables.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Life of Pi

Zipwhip CEO John Lauer credits his company's foray into text-controlled caffeination on recent advances in computing, in particular the tiny, ridiculously cheap Raspberry Pi computer that's stuffed into every rigged device.

Instead of using a $700 computing center, Lauer said, his model of Raspberry Pi cost just $25.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

A marriage of hardware and software

As important as the hardware is, software also plays a major role in making hot text-order drinks happen. A Wi-Fi connection is what lets the computer interpret text messages as brewing instructions, and text you back a response when it's done.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Want to buy one? Too bad

Believe it or not, Zipwhip isn't in the bean business. Instead, the startup builds the cloud-based platform behind the texts. Its Texspresso machine remains a prototype device for now, but if the company succeeds at spreading its message and selling its product, we could conceivably see connected espresso machines like this in the future.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
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