Created in partnership with The Secret Little Agency for the Singapore Economic Development Board, the Coffee Connector is a beautiful object, seamless digital interaction, and social experiment–all in one.

Designed for high-end conferences and networking events, the Coffee Connector only brews a cup of coffee when two attendees work together to request one. Once you’ve found a partner, the machine’s exposed kinetic brewing process engages viewers and uses interactive touchpoints to support the EDB’s messaging.

The design of the Coffee Connector was inspired by the beauty and function of a high-powered jet engine, and paid homage to coffee makers everywhere by showcasing the acts of grinding, boiling, steeping and extracting.

Tellart collaborated with TSLA on the concept for the experience, and was responsible for interaction design, industrial design, engineering, fabrication, and deployment of the Coffee Connector. It is capable of brewing hundreds of cups of coffee without maintenance or intervention, and operates using a local network inside the machine that allows a central server to receive and send data between displays, sensors, liquid pumps, motors, the printhead, and more.

The Coffee Connector made its first appearance at The Economist Big Rethink Conference on March 13 in New York City, and will be used again at events worldwide. Featured in headlines ranging from the insightful (“The LinkedIn Of Coffee Machines,” PSFK) to the ironic (“Machine That Makes You Mingle Before Coffee Is An Introvert Torture Device,” PopSci), the Coffee Connector’s reach extended far beyond the event itself and drew wide attention towards the Singapore EDB’s mission and messages.

User flow diagram illustrating the interplay between user and machine behaviors.

Wireframes for all 4 embedded screens. Each screen has a unique responsibility, from guiding the user through the experience, to helping them connect with others, to displaying statistics, to converting digital coffee into physical coffee.

Machine operation diagram helping the team to document and control the complexity around multiple computers, screens, motors, arduinos, etc.