You can talk to your car and your phone; now you can talk to your coffee pot too. Today the Primula Speak n' Brew, a 10-cup drip coffee maker designed by a 3rd generation company based in New Jersey, launches at Macy's Home stores, and November 1st on Amazon. “It took us about 18 months to develop it,” says Brian Melzer, whose grandfather started the original company in 1946. The machine, billed as the world's first talking coffee maker, has a voice-activated function that sets the brewing time and verbally confirms the results.
“We went to 400 different cites and paid everybody $1 to read a whole slew of numbers,” says Melzer. “Then we meshed it into an analytical program. It understands any American accent.” Any accent? Yes, although Melzer says that the coffee pot has less success with English spoken by non-native speakers. They've tried it out on other languages too, as the machine is manufactured in China. “It doesn't work if you speak Chinese.”