It’s Saturday night and you’re desperately scrounging through your fridge to find a few mixer options to suit the pregaming desires of you and your friends, but all you’ve got is an old looking bottle of cranberry juice.
It ain’t easy to be the one mixing the drinks.
Well, an artificially intelligent robotic bartender called Monsieur just raised $US2 million to make getting your margarita on a whole lot easier. The seed-stage fundraise was led by BIP Capital and comes about a year after it debuted a successful Kickstarter campaign.
At its most basic, Monsieur is a drink dispensing machine that mixes up speciality cocktails at the press of the button. What its creators want it to be is your own personal, hyper-local bartender, one that serves you up themed specialties, makes recommendations based on your previous preferences, or suggests you have a double when you arrive home several hours later than usual from work.
Instead of being jammed into a crowded bar, you can enjoy your expertly-made, extra-stiff Screwdriver from your own home. Yes, unfortunately, you still have to buy ingredients at the get-go to stock up the machine, but the idea is that you’ll have more and better options than your usual alcohol-improvisations.
The company’s other goal for the product is that hotels and restaurants will use it to make busy bartenders’ jobs a little easier.
Monsieur comes preloaded more than 300 drink recipes, but the company also allows mixologists to upload recipes that you could download, as if you were downloading new songs to your iPod.
The robot allows you to adjust drink strength from “Light” to “Boss,” uses WiFi, Bluetooth, and Zigbee (a data transfer technology for wireless networks) to sense when you come home so it can pre-prepare a drink, and, of course, comes with a mobile app. The app lets users order drinks from across the room and will also track each person’s alcohol consumption and prompt them to order an Uber home if they have had a few too many. In a restaurant or hotel situation, the app could also give analytics about customer behaviour and sales history.
Right now, the device costs a hefty $US3,999.