Pernod Ricard takes lead on cocktail ‘hometainment’

French drinks producer Pernod Ricard has taken a step closer to releasing the “world’s first” at-home connected cocktail library, unveiling a revamped prototype of its Gutenberg Project system.

opn-image

Pernod Ricard’s Opn connected cocktail library is expected to be made commercially available in early 2018

Now named Opn, the “pioneering, intelligent system”, which mixes cocktails and is controlled through an app, was first unveiled in 2014 under the working title Project Gutenberg. Today, the system made its official debut at the CES technology trade show in Las Vegas, ahead of an anticipated commercial roll out in early 2018.

Believing the system will “transform the way we enjoy premium spirits and experience mixology at home”, Opn was developed by Pernod Ricard’s Breakthrough Innovation Group (BIG) – a team of 10 people assembled in 2012 to invent new products and services that will “radically change and enhance” the consumer experience.

“We are utterly committed to developing the future of entertaining at home: an experience that is connected, engaging, tailored and responsible”, said Alain Dufossé, managing director of BIG. “With Opn, our goal is to make it easier to enjoy meaningful moments of convivialité at home.”

Opn uses 75cl cartridges filled with varying spirits that are connected intelligently to track levels, measure and mix drinks via an app.

It enables the user to learn and customise cocktail recipes, adapting them to available ingredients, drawing on a database of more than 300 cocktail recipes with step-by-step instructions. Furthermore, the system will devise a shopping list of ingredients for desired serves and order spirits to be delivered to you door on demand.

“Opn is redefining relationships between the user and product, creating a whole new range of experiences. Its potential is tremendous”, added Dufossé.

SMART FUTURE

While Opn is perhaps one of the most ambitious projects taking place within the world of cocktail innovation and technology, it is one of many being developed by drinks producers keen to capitalise on growing demand for connected smart technology.

One of the most developed is Diageo’s “smart bottle”, which uses patent-pending OpenSense Technology – extremely thin, electronic sensors – to tell when a bottle has been opened and where it is in the supply chain.

The sensors allow Diageo to send information to customers who scan the bottle with their smartphones, and update that information appropriately. For example, Diageo could send promotional offers to a consumer’s smartphone while the bottle is in the shop, but change that information to cocktail recipes once the sensors recognise that the bottle is at home and has been opened.

A smart bottle prototype for its Johnnie Walker whisky was unveiled in 2015, but is yet to have been made commercially available.

Other innovations. more aimed at fighting fakes than enhancing the consumer experience, include Amcor’s anti-counterfeit smart capsule.

Pernod Ricard’s Opn system is expected to be made commercially available in early 2018.

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