Martini has joined the Internet of Things (IoT) with the launch of a new ice cube that knows when you’ve finished your drink.
Dubbed the ‘Smart Cube’, Martini says the cube uses Bluetooth technology to anticipate when your drink is finished and communicates with the bar in real-time.
This should allow staff to prepare your drinks in advance, reducing waiting times at the bar. It should also monitor how much you consume to encourage responsible drinking, according to Martini.
The cube was created in tandem with design agency, AMV BDDO, and was launched at a pop-up bar at the Italian F1 Grand Prix at Monza this year.
‘Just the beginning’ for IoT in retail, says Martini
Martini feels that this technology can have an important social impact as well as being convenient.
From a safety point of view, Martini notes that the Smart Cube could potentially be used to detect when drinks have been tampered with.
At the same time, it could also track the number of drinks ordered, to help businesses with stock take and measuring drink popularity.
“At Martini, we believe that time with friends is time well spent. Our Smart Cube technology means that you can do just that instead of queuing at the bar,” says Laila Mignoni, creative excellence director, Martini. “There’s huge potential for innovation within the beverage industry and this is just the beginning.”
Speaking about the challenges of creating the device, James Rowley, director of creative technology at AMV BBDO, said it wasn’t easy.
“Bluetooth signal strength is reduced significantly when immersed in liquid. But by tweaking the power and carefully positioning the antenna we managed to get the range to about 30 metres, even in a busy bar environment,” he said.
The future of retail?
Perhaps, then, we will see more retailers adopt this kind of approach to IoT.
Martini is not the only retail brand to tap into IoT-enabled goods. Amazon recently brought its Dash button to the UK that orders household goods just by pressing a button.
In a similar move, Carling invented potentially the world’s first ‘Beer button’, which offers an easy way to restock an empty fridge with beer.
While these initial applications might seem a little gimmicky, retailers are clearly trying to jostle for position in this space. There is a clear desire to find a new and improved customer experience and a better way to understand what customers want through IoT.
The obvious benefit for the winning business being: get it right on customer service and the finances should take care of themselves.