Costa Express Sound Design and Audio Hardware Design

emixpro collaborated with Costa, and partners including Pininfarina and Intel, to create a next-generation self-service coffee experience.

Costa approached Steve Belgrave to help define the technology, customer experience and sonic branding for this unique coffee machine, as well as to help design the internal surround audio hardware, amplifiers and speakers etc to fit within the machine’s complex internal space. Delivering an immersive sound experience and a catalogue of dynamic sound elements to augment the users experience, designed to attract users to the machine.

This was one of those projects that came out of nowhere. I was approached by Eric Achtmann, the projects manager who said he was simply looking for top people to work in a small team to create a first of its kind coffee machine. Tasked with creating a new generation of machines that would smash all others in terms of functionality and design.

The machine won best of show at several trade awards and clearly set the tone for future vending experiences.

Team Marlow
Hailed from many sectors and utilising the best in the industry, the team created a stunning and award winning product in record time and at a fraction of the cost of any comparable commercial production team anywhere in the world. It was so unique in its development approach that the LBS (London Business School) used it as an example in their educational programme (watch excerpt below) and created a case study based on the unique Team Marlow approach ‘Costa Coffee: Project Marlow – Compact Case‘. Unsurprisingly, I was extremely proud to be a part of this team.