Bacardi USA partners Coke and MIT to bring ‘spirits into digital age’

By Ben BOUCKLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

'Err...any chance of a free drink, mate?' (Picture Copyright: MakrShakr.com)
'Err...any chance of a free drink, mate?' (Picture Copyright: MakrShakr.com)

Related tags: Cocktail, Bacardi, The coca-cola company

Bacardi USA has partnered with the Coca-Cola Company and university researchers to created a robotic bartending system called Makr Shakr, and says it can help ‘bring spirits into the digital age’.

Developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Senseable City Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the two drinks giants, the mixology system (pictured) allows users to create cocktail recipes in realtime using a smartphone and transform them into crowdsourced drink combinations.

Using a Makr Shakr app, users can create alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks combinations, which is then assembled by three robotic arms, the movements of which mimic those of a bartender – from the shaking of a Martini to the thin slicing of a lemon garnish.

Instead of aiming to replace a human bartender with a robot, Makr Shakr – which leverages technology used in Coke’s Freestyle beverage dispenser – is designed as a social experiment that explores how people might embrace the new possibilities offered by ‘digital manufacturing’.

“With Makr Shakr, social connections are woven throughout the co-creation and mixing of ingredients, which are then fed back to the user through the app," ​MakrShakr.com said in a statement.

“With this new technology, consumers can learn from each other, sharing connections, recipes and photos on social networks,"​ it added.

Toby Whitmoyer, Bacardi USA VP brand managing director for rum, said. “We are excited to once again partner with Coca-Cola on a project that has the potential to revolutionize the cocktail industry, just as we did in 1900 with the creation of the original Cuba Libre.

 “This project is an opportunity to bring spirits into the digital age," ​ he added.

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