Nestlé Japan has created a massive, 1,450-part coffee-mug-shaped contraption that plays Christmas songs as a wooden ball navigates its way through a series of 180 xylophone keys.
The 11-foot tall Rube Goldberg — that is, an overly complicated machine engineered for a simple task — is currently on display at the Nescafé Harajuku location in Shibuya, Tokyo, playing seasonal songs on demand. The installation is there to promote the company’s Bluetooth-enabled brewing device, as part of the Nescafé Goldblend Barista i Coffee Moment campaign.
To trigger a song, users must load the app related to the campaign, choose an emoticon that best reflects their mood, and when they press “brew,” a mood-reflective cartoon bird flutters up onto a digital display above the massive contraption. As the bird drops its cartoon ball, a large, actual wooden ball also drops to begin its musical journey.
In true Rube Goldbergian spirit, the machine took five months to build, according to Nestlé. Here it is in action: