Commentary

Internet-Connected Cup Tells Bartender When It's Time For A Refill

The Internet of Things may be coming to a bar near you.

In the latest twist in IoT gadgetry, the Absout Company’s Malibu brand is introducing ‘Coco-nect’ cups, which send signals to bar staff when a fresh drink is required.

The connected-drinks system uses Wi-Fi and RFID technologies with the coconut-shaped cups.

When a fresh drink is desired, the consumer twists the bottom of the cup, which send a drink order to the bar, including the consumer’s location.

The target market is clubs and festivals with the intent of shortening or eliminating bar queues by automating the ordering of drink refills from the dancefloor.

When the order is received, a signal is sent back to the cup, changing the color of a light on the bottom of the cup, letting the partygoer know the drink is in progress.

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After the drink is made, the bartender or whoever may deliver the drink uses a mobile app helps find he customer. When the drink is near, the light on the bottom of the cup starts flashing, highlighting the drink’s final destination.

“Our Coco-connect cups will mean they never need to miss a single moment of fun again,” said Hedda Helgesen, global marketing brand manager of Malibu.

This is not the first Internet of Things innovation of the Absolut Group and the Internet of Things agency SharpEnd, as I wrote about here a while back (Malibu Rum Launches Connected Bottles To Deliver Consumer Content).

Malibu Rum and its agency outfitted 40,000 bottles of Malibu rum with NFC tags that trigger various consumer engagements, such as instant-win competitions, bar locators, drink recipes and user-generated content.

Malibu already tested the connected cups in pilots before deciding to roll it out at a larger scale.

If nothing else, Absolut and its agency will learn a lot about consumer behavior in relation to new, connected services.

4 comments about "Internet-Connected Cup Tells Bartender When It's Time For A Refill ".
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  1. Michael Strassman from WGBH, October 17, 2016 at 11:17 a.m.

    If this sounds appealing, either I need to go to a bar where the bartender doesn't suck, or I'll just stay home where I already have a miraculous device that tells the bartender when I need a refill...my brain. Sometimes I even use my voice and ask my wife for a drink, and sometimes I actually get it. 

    The world does not need more devices to reduce our contact with real people, unless the context is the DMV.

  2. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, October 17, 2016 at 4:49 p.m.

    I REALLY hate it when marketers can't be honest. Check out this quote:  “Our Coco-connect cups will mean they never need to miss a single moment of fun again,” said Hedda Helgesen, global marketing brand manager of Malibu.

    Really? This is about THEIR fun? No. This is about bar and distillery profit. And that's fine. But please, let's just be honest.

  3. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, October 17, 2016 at 6:11 p.m.

    It's all part of testing and learning on the part of Absolut and its agency, Michael.

  4. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, October 17, 2016 at 6:13 p.m.

    The specific target is the demographic attending such concerts who have a fear of FOMO (fear of missing out), according to Absolut, Doug.

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