Blog: Olly WehringBacardi's ice cube of information

Olly Wehring | 6 September 2016

I was full of questions yesterday when reading our news story about Bacardi's Martini Smart Cube. An ice cube-shaped device that can provide real-time information about its consumer? How? What? Why?

Here are some more details to help answer my - and maybe your questions:

  • Prototype ice-cube cases were developed using 3D modelling software, 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. 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, the number of Bianco vs Rosso ordered
  • The device can limit the number of drinks per consumer
  • 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. LEDs in the ice cube then pulse in a colour sequence
  • The LEDs and beacon are controlled by a designed printed circuit board and powered by a small battery
  • Aerogel - a technology created by NASA - has been used to ensure the device also functions as an ice cube by keeping it cool
  • The Aerogel also serves as a floatation aid, keeping the beacon horizontal, which is required for signal transmission strength

And, as for the concept's potential applications?

  • Detect when drinks have been tampered with
  • Detect a drink's abv
  • Can measure consumption
  • Can track the number of drinks ordered, to help businesses with stocktaking and to measure drink popularity
  • Can group cubes to help locate the friends for whom you ordered a round of drinks

Pretty impressive, huh.

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