Several regulars at McDonald’s have often wondered “Why is the ice-cream machine always broken” at the fast-food chains’ many outlets. Now, a gadget and a lawsuit could unravel and possibly address the perplexing conundrum.
Jeremy O’Sullivan is taking a legal stand against McDonald’s and its frequently broken ice cream machines. However, before the lawsuit, O’Sullivan had built and offered a device that addresses the seemingly troubled Taylor C602 digital ice cream machine which is commonly found at a McDonald’s outlet.
Engineer addresses McDonald’s ice cream machine problems and creates device to fix them:
One of the most common complaints about McDonald’s is about the ice cream machines. More specifically, how these machines seem to remain perpetually ‘out of service’.
McDonald’s works with Taylor to offer ice-cream machines. These machines are quite sophisticated and engineering marvels.
The Taylor C602 digital ice cream machine can churn out both milkshakes and soft serve simultaneously. Moreover, the machine can perform at a very high speed, something that McDonald’s is famous for.
Our team has worked tirelessly every day for almost a decade to develop new products and services to improve shake machines and to deliver frozen treats to people across the country. @WIRED published a story about what happened. Check it out:https://t.co/Z1v83iDq84 pic.twitter.com/RJpHp5YBDp
— Kytch (@getKytch) April 20, 2021
But, for some reason or the other, they seem to remain inoperational for most of the time. Jeremy O’Sullivan reportedly tried to find the answer to the question “Why is the ice-cream machine always broken at McDonald’s”. He realized these machines are not only quite complex to maintain and repair but are difficult to understand as well.
Costing about $18,000, the Taylor C602 digital ice cream machine apparently doesn’t offer ease of service or repair. While tackling the issue, Jeremy discovered a secret menu that offered a lot of useful information for ease of diagnostics and repair.
In 2019, 34-year-old O’Sullivan and his partner, 33-year-old Melissa Nelson, began selling a gadget about the size of a small paperback book. Called Kytch, the device installs inside the Taylor ice cream machine.
Simply connect Wi-Fi, and Kytch works its way inside the software of the ice cream machine. It offers direct access to multiple menus and software toggles or sensors.
Kytch reportedly acts as a surveillance bug inside the machine. It “intercepts and eavesdrops on communications between its components and sends them to a far friendlier user interface than the one Taylor intended”.
Jeremy O’Sullivan plans to take on fast-food giants for allegedly trying to shut down his operation:
Kytch not only displays several of the machine’s hidden internal data but also logs it over time. Based on the gathered intelligence, the gadget can even suggest simple troubleshooting solutions. The creators have come up with a simple web-based interface as well as an app.
This all started with the Frobot. A decade ago, Jeremy O’Sullivan and Melissa Nelson invented an automatic frozen yogurt dispenser built around a Taylor soft-serve machine—the same kind used by McDonald’s restaurants. But they found it was constantly breaking 2/ pic.twitter.com/WmKPEexo1i
— WIRED (@WIRED) April 21, 2021
The creators of the device claim McDonald’s and Taylor attempted to shut down their business. Some reports claim McDonald’s even sent emails to its franchisees, warning them that Kytch devices breach a Taylor machine’s “confidential information” and can even cause “serious human injury.” Incidentally, Taylor has unveiled its own competing internet-connected monitoring product.
So O’Sullivan and Nelson pivoted to selling a small gadget called Kytch that fits inside Taylor's ice cream maker, intercepting its internal data like a spy bug and sending it out via Wifi to McDonald’s franchisees to help maintain and fix the machines 4/ pic.twitter.com/USkrFgUHCs
— WIRED (@WIRED) April 21, 2021
It is important to note that tampering with any machine or installing third-party equipment usually renders any warranty null and void. Still, whatever may be the legality of the issue, Jeremy O’Sullivan and his device have once again raised the issue of ‘Right to repair’.
Several electronics owners and repair shops have long demanded a law that accords them the ‘Right to repair’. Companies like Apple, John Deere, and others are either fighting engineers like O’Sullivan to prevent customers and third-party repair shops from repairing electronics or making products that are difficult to repair. It seems the fight has reached fast-food restaurants as well.