Located in northwest Italy, Torino is a bustling city on the banks of the Po River, hemmed in by the Alps to the north and west and the hills of Monferrato to the east. It was here that Martini, that iconic green bottle of Italian vermouth, was created, and it was from this city (whose origins can be traced even further back than the Roman era) that Martini would be exported around the world in the mid-to-late 19th century.
It is also in this ancient city that the art of mixology is being catapulted into the future.
MAKR SHAKR is just one of many brands across the world working to merge the tech and hospitality sectors. And just in time for New Year’s, we’re bringing you a round-up of three high-tech products for home and commercial spaces. From robotic bartenders to sophisticated tabletop gadgets, here are three ways to pour a futuristic drink.
The first robotic bartender catering to the mass market, the TONI by MAKR SHAKR is a modular piece that can be integrated into any existing space. Featuring two waterproof robotic arms, each with six axes, the TONI is capable of making 80 drinks per hour. Its ceiling has the capacity to hold 158 bottles of spirits. Its counter is made from a white, glossy-finish Corian, underneath which there is room for storage. The panels on the exterior of the product can be customized according to needs and preferred aesthetics. An LCD screen with real-time data on orders (as well as on wait time and usage statistics) can keep a busy bar running smoothly.
This isn’t just an automated spirits dispenser; the TONI also houses beer and wine dispensers. And for mixing, there are soda and juice dispensing machines, lemon and lime cutters, a sugar dispenser, cup dispensers, and washing areas. To top it all off, this whiz-fast robot can garnish drinks with a sprig of mint.
Barsys, on the other hand, is more so geared towards at-home mixologists. This smart automated cocktail machine is capable of making over 2,000 different drinks with the push of a button.
Here’s how it works: choose your favourite spirits and secure plugs on the bottles. Pour your preferred mixers into canisters, connect to the device from your phone or tablet via Bluetooth, and input your desired order. (Aside from the 2,000 pre-programmed options, users can also customize their own.) An electromagnetic mixer, which runs with patented Smartbar technology, stirs or shakes the cocktail to perfection.
The black matte heat-resistant paint over the metal shell of the device gives it a sleek profile, perfect for the postmodern bar. It’s certainly a conversation piece.
This one is for those who skip right past the cocktail menu in search of the wine list. The iFavine Group has its headquarters in the Bordeaux region and specializes in the development of tools and services to improve — and even reinvent — the experience of wine tasting. The company worked hard to incorporate a precise patented extraction technology and has developed several smart wine decanters. The iSommelier and two versions of the iSommelier Pro are now commercially available.
The iSommelier features a molecular air filtration system, producing and passing on 90% pure oxygen to the body of the wine. This accelerates the aging effect, reducing the process to a matter of minutes. The result, the company promises, is a smoother wine with enhanced aromas and flavours.
A little more advanced, the iSommelier Pro D038 features a touch control panel (whereas the iSommelier is operated via a dial function). Touch buttons allow the user to select preferred decanting times according to taste, while touch buttons allow the decanting process to be started, stopped, or paused at any point.
The iSommelier Pro D033, the crème de la crème of the product lineup, is the company’s smart connected device. This one connects to the iFAVINE app and network, which provides the user with a wide range of information on wines and wineries, including recommendations on decanting times from professionals. True to the company’s goal, which is to build the largest wine-focused platform in the world, the network connects professionals and enthusiasts, winemakers and distributors, restauranteurs and sommeliers. By bridging the gap between winemakers and consumers, the app is intended to improve the overall industry for everyone.
Oh, and one last thing — the app can, of course, wirelessly control the iSommelier!
Images courtesy MAKR SHAKR