Baguette Vending Machine Smart, Frightening

The Takeout tends to lean anti-robots and automation, not because of its effects on our labor force but because robots are frightening and machines will lead to mankind's downfall.

This vending machine we read about in SFGATE, the online arm of the San Francisco Chronicle, would otherwise be the type of intelligent machinery that makes us cower in fear, except... it just sounds so cool.

Get this: A baguette vending machine. No, not just a device that simply spits out loaves upon successful payment. It's a machine that houses par-baked baguettes, finishes baking them a few loaves at a time, and schedules it so purchasers can swipe their credit card and receive a fresh loaf in under 30 seconds. And what about hot loaves just sitting and wilting inside the "micro-bakery?" Those are discarded after 90 minutes of being held in hot storage, so customers won't receive a dried-out baguette. Smart! Amazing! Frightening!

A reporter purchased a baguette from this vending machine, called Le Bread Xpress, and taste-tested it against a baguette from an area bakery. She wrote:

About a dozen SFGATE staffers tasted both breads, and pretty much everyone picked the Le Bread Xpress loaf as their favorite for its crunchy crust and airy interior.

According to SFGATE, there are 120 of these machines in France, but in the U.S. the only location is currently in San Francisco. The owner of Le Bread Xpress also said that the company is prototyping a machine that will bake pizzas, quiches, and croissants on demand. All hail our new buttery overlords.