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The Global Beer Fridge speaks 40 languages and opens on command

Every once in awhile, technology takes a remarkable leap forward, addressing some of the world’s most pressing problems — poverty, the environment, social justice. Sure, the latest Google-powered beer fridge that speaks 40 different languages may not be one of those applications of technology, but who’s to say that makes it any less impressive? A partnership between Google and Canadian beer company Molson has resulted in quite the lovechild — the Global Beer Fridge — which is simultaneously a terrible tease and a phenomenal innovation. You see, the fridge only dispenses a cold beverage when the would-be imbiber says “I am Canadian” (Molson’s slogan) in any six of the 40 languages the appliance recognizes. So work on your language skills, friends, or be doomed to thirst.

Molson’s Beer Fridge is heavily dependent on Google’s real-time voice translation services for its operation, and can recognize a wide variety of languages, including French, Hindi, and Mandarin. Of course, given Canada’s very multi-ethnic demographic, this is certainly an excellent attempt at increasing the country’s cultural awareness, on top of just being an all-around brilliant marketing play.

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The fridge was initially completed for an initial unveiling on July 1, Canada’s birthday. But if you can’t make it up north for that particular sighting, fret not — the Global Beer Fridge will be making another appearance at Toronto’s PanAm games next month.

This voice-activated technology may mean a whole new mechanism for vending machines everywhere, so even though this particular fridge may be serving a very specific, very Canadian purpose, it may have much broader implications for the future of our favorite snack dispensaries. After all, what better world could we imagine than one that spits out chips and cookies with nothing more than a vocal command?

So head up to Canada on July 10 to check out this one-of-a-kind beer fridge, and consider all the new horizons that we’ve yet to breach with vocal commands and vending machines.