Malibu has developed a connected cup that uses IoT technology to save you from the dreaded queue at the bar.
The burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) is at its most effective when directly solving problems that people face on a regular basis. And it’s with that innovative spirit that Malibu, from alcohol brand Pernod Ricard, has set about developing an on-demand drink delivery solution. The problem in question is the dreaded bar queue that everyone has faced at some point or other.
Called ‘Coco-nect’, Malibu’s connected coconut cup is incorporated with IoT technology that allows it to communicate directly with the bar with a simple twist of its base. The cup sends a signal to bar staff that a fresh drink is needed, and they can prepare it while the user carries on talking, drinking or dancing.
Different flashes from the cup symbolize the various stages of the ordering process. The cup uses WiFi and RFID, alongside a smart-phone application, to ensure that bar staff are then able to despatch and deliver the correct drink to the correct person.
While this kind of innovation could clearly shake up the way drinks are served in a range of environments, Malibu is targeting clubs, bars and festivals in time for summer 2017. The cup was developed in over 12 weeks by the Malibu brand team at The Absolut Company, working alongside IoT agency SharpEnd.
This isn’t the first time that Malibu has looked to the IoT to connect with customers. Over the summer it launched 40,000 connected bottles across the UK, asking bar-goers to ‘tap’ an NFC-enabled phone onto a bottle to engage with the brand and win prizes.
Malibu device targets consumer FOMO
In a statement, Malibu’s joint global marketing brand manager, Deborah Nunez, suggested that the new company’s IoT cup is less about bar efficiency and more about improving the user experience at events where bars are usually too crowded.
“Traipsing to a crowded bar to face a lengthy queue for drinks can put a real dampener on any social get together, while our research shows that FOMO – or the ‘fear of missing out’ – can be a real frustration for young people who don’t want to miss out on the fun of the party,” she said.
Nunez’s colleague, Hedda Helgesen, addded that Malibu’s new Coco-nect cups will mean that customers “may never need to miss a single moment of fun again.We have successfully trialed 10 prototype cups this summer, and will be looking to roll them out commercially in time for next year’s summer festival season.
“We expect them to be a real hit,” she said.