The drinking straw is about as low-tech as it gets. It’s a hollowed out tube that lets people suck liquid through it. Simple. Some can bend, some are “crazy” straws, others have a tiny scoop at the end, but they’re pretty much the same thing.
Well as part of a marketing campaign, McDonald’s decided that the straw should be re-engineered, so they got a team of robotic and aerospace engineers to reinvent the straw. It is part of a marketing move for McDonald’s new Chocolate Shamrock Shake, where the straw has been redesigned as a means to solve a “problem”. And it does.
The Chocolate Shamrock Shake is a chocolate milkshake mixed with a Shamrock shake. Instead of waiting for the drink to melt so that you can mix the flavors, the straw actually comes with two holes, so you can suck up the shamrock shake and chocolate shake at the same time.
This is more complex than it seems. It actually required some pretty complex computational fluid dynamics simulations to get the flow right. So this is no ordinary straw. No plain old tube to suck through. The straw will be limited in quantity to certain locations this month.