The scene is all too familiar: You’re sitting at a table at a crowded bar with your friends and you finish your drink. The waiter is too busy running food and drink orders to notice your empty glass. Going up to the bar to order means waiting in a long line, and, depending on your choice of friends, you’re going to be making that bar trip for the whole table.
True, it’s a problem that is more of a minor inconvenience than a night ruiner. Still, it’s 2016. Household necessities can be ordered at the push of a button, and there are bars where you can bring your cat. There’s hardly any reason to deal with the inconvenience of getting up to order another round. That’s where the engineers over at Martini come in (the brand, not the drink).
Martini, which makes vermouth and sparkling wine, debuted its prototype “Smart Cube” on September 2. The Smart Cube is an ice cube-shaped, Bluetooth-connected device that keeps track of the drink that it’s in, and relays information back to the bartender from up to 100 feet away (you’re out of luck if you like your drinks neat, though). Soon as you take that last sip, the Smart Cube relays your drink order to the bar.
That’s the immediately exciting part. The Cube’s liquid sensor can also detect when drinks have been spiked, what the alcohol content of the drink is, and where people using the cube are sitting. Oh yeah, it also chills your drink without diluting it using a NASA technology called Aerogel.
The downside? Customers can only order up to two drinks with the Smart Cube. But when ordering a drink is that easy, you can’t blame a few extra safety features to keep people from mindlessly binge drinking.
Don’t expect to see the Smart Cube at your local pub any time soon. Its first test run was over Labor Day weekend at the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Italy. Still, the future is coming, and things like the Smart Cube show that the future doesn’t plan on leaving drinking technology behind.