The Connected Cocktail Project, created by Boston-based design consultancy Altitude, wants to revolutionize your happy hour. Their design prototype consists of a series of intelligent bottle caps that connect to a smartphone app through Bluetooth. The system not only guides amateur mixologists through the steps of making their favorite drinks, but also tracks the contents of their liquor cabinet, allows them to order refills on ingredients when they’re running low, and more.
Altitude says its research has found a growing number of consumers interested in mixing the same drinks that they can get at premier cocktail bars, but that they have no idea where to start. Then there are the people who can mix a few simple concoctions, but don’t know how to up their game to the next level.
The Connected Cocktail Project would teach you how to mix a drink by lighting up the bottles, in order of the ingredients needed. A smart metering system in each cap would then automatically portion the correct amount of alcohol. If you are missing an ingredient, the connected app would suggest an alternative, or allow you to order whatever is missing online in a single tap. And as your skills improve, the Connected Cocktail app would award your achievements by unlocking entire new families on the periodic table of mixology.
Although a concept, Altitude has designed real products in this space before: the Margaritaville home margarita machine was one of their babies. The Connected Cocktail Project could very well follow the same path to market. All Altitude needs is a company who wants to make it happen.
“The technology is simple. We made a prototype. It works,” Altitude CEO Daniel Ostrower tells Co.Design. “If all you do is make the same Manhattan every Friday, this isn’t for you, but if you’re a beginner who wants to explore the universe of cocktail recipes, or even a cocktail master who just wants to track the ingredients in his bar, we think this is a product you would want.”
As for those who are skeptical that there’s any need for a system like this, Ostrower thinks time will tell. “Ten years ago, everyone was just fine with buying soda in cans and making coffee in a drip machine,” he says. “Now, Keurig is king and everyone has a Sodastream. They innovated beyond the package. Why can’t alcohol do the same thing?”