Last week we ran a story about the Miracle Machine – a magical contraption that, with the help of technology, could reportedly turn a bit of grape concentrate, water, and yeast into wine in just a couple days. It sounded amazing, and hundreds of different publications picked up the story, including this one. But it turns out that it was too good to be true.
It was all just a clever ruse designed to get people to sign up for more information. On the product’s website, Miracle Machine’s “founders” promised an upcoming Kickstarter launch, and prompted visitors to sign up for email notifications as soon as the campaign went live – but the debut never happened. Yesterday afternoon, anyone who signed up received an email linking to a video about Wine to Water, a nonprofit organization working to bring clean drinking water to impoverished areas around the world.
So, basically, the product teaser was nothing more than an elaborate publicity stunt. The people who orchestrated it were just hoping to raise awareness of Wine to Water and drive donations and volunteers to the cause. And it worked beautifully. According to the people behind the project, more than 600 different media outlets, drunk on the excitement of quick and easy winemaking, picked up on the story over the span of just ten days.
As much as we’re bummed to hear the Miracle Machine isn’t real, we’ve got to give props to the people behind it. The whole thing was perfectly executed – the site looked legit and professional, the “founders” were actually winemakers in real life, and the prototypes (which, as it turns out, were merely blocks of wood with LED’s inside) seemed fully functional from our distant perspective. Even the scientific details about how the technology worked – all that stuff about “digital refractometers” and “ultrasonic agitators”– sounded legitimate, and really brought it all together. We weren’t fooled by Huvr or Livr (two other hyped up products that turned out to be fake), but this one totally duped us.
So congratulations, Jesus. Your unique winemaking skills remain unmatched. We hope you’re happy.
You can find out more about Wine to Water here.
- Garbage to gold: How Yahoo unethically sells your spam email
- Leafy greens are grown by machines at new, automated Silicon Valley farm
- The best wireless headphones
- Where have you bean all my life? I finally found the perfect coffee maker
- From sharks to Shaq: Ring CEO Jamie Siminoff’s unusual road to success