Alcohol Meets Tech: Virtual-Reality Bars
Bars and alcohol brands are using virtual reality (VR) to elevate the drinking experience, with London high-rise cocktail bar City Social creating the world's first AR cocktail menu, inspired by art through the ages.
Guests can download an app called Mirage, which is designed to work interactively with the beverages. When pointed towards a drink, the app places it at the centre of a thematic piece of artwork on-screen. For example, if a patron orders gin-based cocktail Dogstone Brew, the app will take inspiration from Victorian works of art, while champagne-based cocktail Sashay transforms into an Art Nouveau masterpiece.
Also taking inspiration from the art world, Italian beer producer Peroni's annual immersive London drinking experience House of Peroni is using a VR experience to stimulate the senses. When wearing the VR headsets, the floor appears to vanish below visitors' feet, while other guests disappear and the ceiling transmits a light show. The experience also offers an opportunity for guests to use Google's interactive Tilt Brush, allowing them to create virtual 3D works of art.
On a less dramatic scale, patrons purchasing new cocktail The Origin at The Lobby Bar in London's luxury One Aldwych hotel will receive a VR headset alongside their drink, which contains 12-year-old Scottish Dalmore whisky. The headset will transport them to the Scottish highlands where the alcohol is produced. The cocktail costs £18 ($23) and will be available until early 2018.