A New Way to Drink in the Digital Age

REDMOND, Wash. — Dec. 17, 2010 — Imagine you’re on vacation, check into your hotel and write down your favorite drink for the concierge — then you enter your hotel room to find a machine that with the push of a button can make the drink for you on the spot. Digital Beverages, along with the help of Windows Embedded Standard 7, is offering select establishments and consumers the opportunity to use digital bartending machines to elevate the overall drink-making and customer experience.

“Through the use of Windows Embedded Standard 7, Digital Beverages is able take advantage of the ability to use a small footprint operating system that allows us to use compact flash and USB drives instead of hard drives whose internal parts will most likely fail in a few years, “ said Martin Arellano, CEO of Digital Beverages. “By using this platform for our devices, we’re able to offer our customers machines that are reliable, stable, secure and have the most up-to-date software.”

The machines monitor consumption patterns and the corresponding amounts of concentrates, syrups, beer, wine, or other beverages needed, which are then delivered automatically.

Digital Beverages distributes two types of machines, the MyFountain and Virtual Bartender, to various establishments, such as hotels, across the country. Each machine has the same base set of features: a touch-screen controller that boasts a customizable interface based on the customer’s preferences, password protection and automated ordering. All machines are linked into Digital Beverages’ central server allowing the company to take the greater responsibility in maintaining and replenishing beverages as needed.

“To dispense a drink, all that needs to be done is to touch the icon on the screen and your selection then pours in the glass. The variety of combinations is virtually limitless and each machine is programmed to the customer’s tastes,” says Martin. “Our dispenser can pour hot, cold, and alcoholic and nonalcoholic, carbonated and noncarbonated beverages. We’re able to offer sodas, beer, wine, fruit drinks, vitamin- enhanced water, mixed drinks, cocktails — just about anything.”

Digital Beverages’ machines allow convenience but also help alleviate many common problems at establishments, including improper pouring, slow drink-making and limited variety. The MyFountain and Virtual Bartender account for every drop of liquid dispensed and reconcile the day’s receipts, guarantee precise recipe formulation and exact dispensing of the chosen drink, and provide limitless beverage variations and combinations. The machines take all the guesswork out of remembering how to make each unique drink, as the information is stored and readily available through the Digital Beverages touch screen.

Digital Beverages’ machines allow convenience but also help alleviate many common problems at establishments.

The MyFountain and Virtual Bartender not only dispense drinks but can be considered a digital information platform as well. The device can be used as a hub for entertainment and practical home and venue tasks and allows the customer to  purchase, organize, and play music and movies from one central location or remotely. By using Windows Embedded Standard 7 the machines use Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player, just like a customer would use a PC.

Moving forward, Digital Beverages is looking to tap into new and interesting ideas, and will continue to enlist the help of Windows Embedded Standard 7 to offer specialized content that fits onto the device’s screen. Some ideas the company is looking at include the ability to look up cooking instructions and recipes, view the weather and news dashboard, and use Web e-mail.

In addition, the company would like to include a social media component to its services and devices. It is working on creating an application that allows customers to use phones to create personal drink recipes and special instructions for the bartender and then have the ability to send them to the machine. Furthermore, while the Virtual Bartender is making the drink, the customer would get a message stating that the drink is ready to be picked up. One venue asked Digital Beverages to institute this idea and make the process completely self-service and even have the machine accept payment for the drink — eliminating long lines at the bar and drink errors. 

For more on Digital Beverages’ products visit its website, http://www.digitalbeverages.com/myfountain.htm, which focuses on its line of products using Windows Embedded Standard 7.

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