Recent history is littered with poorly thought-out attempts to stop people from using the products they buy the way they want to use them. And when Keurig announced their next-generation coffee squirters would have special scanners to keep you from using those pesky “third-party” coffee pods that don’t pay Keurig a royalty, users were understandably furious. But at least the system was uncrackable, unless you have the advanced technology of scissors and tape.
Keurig has justified this by claiming that the scanner also tells their machine how, precisely, to brew each serving of coffee. But the appeal to coffee snobbery hasn’t worked, as Wired found out, and this instructional video demonstrates:
As KeurigHack.com notes, you can also just tape it to the spike the machine uses to impale the coffee pod in the first place. Honestly, though, it might not be long before the hack is unnecessary. The scanning system won’t even work with officially licensed K-cups that lack the stripe, infuriating users and drawing several anticompetition lawsuits. It doesn’t help matters for the company that the old brewers are on the market and far more popular than its supposed flagship product.
Personally, I love the Keurig; there’s one three feet from me at my home office right now. But the company was silly to think it was going to control exactly how coffee nerds used their product. Really, when it comes to DRM, companies need to listen to the sage advice of Homer Simpson: Never try.