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Smart cube technology means no more waiting at the bar

14 September 2016

MARTINI Smart Cube is a traditional ice cube shaped device that anticipates when your drink is finished and communicates with the bar staff in real-time.

Image courtesy of Bacardi Limited

From now, waiting at the bar is a thing of the past thanks to new, Smart Cube technology from MARTINI. The traditional ice cube shaped device is added to your drink in addition to regular, square ice cubes. As you consume your drink, the MARTINI Smart Cube uses Bluetooth technology to anticipate when your drink is finished and communicates with the bar in real-time. Staff can prepare drinks in advance so you don't have to wait. It also keeps track of the number of drinks you've consumed to encourage responsible drinking.

The MARTINI Smart Cube was created with advanced design software and the final product cases were injection-moulded in food-safe resin. As well as providing its real-time ordering technology, it also functions as a traditional ice-cube, thanks to Aerogel, a technology created by NASA, which keeps the temperature of the cube cool, and allows it to stay buoyant.

“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."

James Rowley, Director of Creative Technology at AMV BBDO, adds, “Creating an ice-cube packed with technology presented some difficult challenges. 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 30m, even in a busy bar environment.”

How the MARTINI Smart Cube technology works:

• Prototype ice-cube cases were developed using advanced 3D modelling software and then produced using 3D printing. The final product cases were injection-moulded in food-safe resin and sealed with silicon

• The Smart Cube has sides of 25mm in length and communication between the cube and the bar is via Bluetooth to an iPad Pro equipped with a bespoke web application

• The iPad Pro web app stores data on the cloud and features analytics to track drink activity; for example, number of Bianco vs Rosso ordered

• Consumers are only able to order up to two drinks with the Smart Cube

• Detecting drink levels is achieved using capacitive liquid sensors within the cube case

• When a drink reaches a low level, the cube’s transmission beacon switches off momentarily and the LEDs in the ice cube pulse in a unique colour sequence

Image courtesy of Bacardi Limited

• The LED and beacon are controlled from a bespoke designed printed circuit board (PCB) and powered by a small battery

• NASA technology in the form of Aerogel has been used to ensure Smart Cube also functions as an ice cube by keeping it cool

• The Aerogel also serves as a floatation aid, keeping the beacon horizontal, which is important for signal transmission strength

Potential applications of the Smart Cubes:

• Detect when drinks have been tampered with

• Detect alcohol content of drink

• Can measure consumption

• Track number of drinks ordered, to help businesses with stock take and measuring drink popularity

• Group cubes to help locate the friends for whom you ordered the round of drinks

Created by MARTINI, the world’s leading vermouth and best-selling sparkling wine brand, and their agency partner AMV BBDO, the MARTINI Smart Cube will be premiered at the Terrazza MARTINI Darsena, at the Italian F1 Grand Prix at Monza.

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