There are several industries that have yet to experience the seismic impact of digital transformation, but at first glance, it seems that some of them cannot be changed by code and technology. Alcohol is definitely one such area.
Given its primary purpose – consumption – one might ask how a beverage that is completely dependent on body processes (drinking) can be improved or improved digitally. In the end, we cannot change the way we consume fluids. But what we can change is everything that surrounds us at the moment when we bring a glass or bottle to our lips.
We are witnessing a digital transformation in activities that are directly or indirectly related to the use of alcohol: from the way alcohol is produced, to how it affects transportation, and how we drink it or not. Here are four key examples of new technologies that are helping people drink smarter.
IntelligentX: AI Beer
The craft beer market is nearing saturation, but the answer to any buzz caused by an oversupply of brands, many of which now brew similar flavors, may already be here: IntelligentX
IntelligentX is a smart brewing program that collects data about what kind of beer you like to drink and uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to customize the way you brew your beer based on your feedback and that of other people. It’s a subscription-based program that delivers 10 specially brewed ales with clever names – Pale AI, Black AI, Golden AI, and Amber AI on a regular basis.
But these are just basic tastes. As IntelligentX collects your feedback through its app, the AI ??algorithm will learn your taste preferences and find other customers with similar preferences in its system to collect new recipes that are more personalized, but also introduce new tastes that you. may not have tried it. This makes it possible to get more pleasure from the tasting.
Please note that shipments are currently limited to the UK mainland, but IntelligentX plans to expand outside this region in the near future. The first shipments of this AI beer are expected to arrive at customers’ doorstep in May 2019. You can set the frequency of your shipments as well as unsubscribe at any time.
While IntelligentX won’t replace any of your favorite breweries, this AI approach to brewing ever-improving beer can certainly be a catalyst for transforming the way traditional breweries work and competing for the loyalty of serious beer connoisseurs.
Uber‘s sugar ‘scale’
If you are old enough to drink legally, you must be responsible enough to know when you are not allowed to drive. In recent years, transportation network companies such as Uber have made the decision not to drive easier, and Uber claims to have effectively cut drunk driving through its service.
It is much safer to pay someone a reasonable fee to take you where you need to when you are under the influence than to drive them yourself. But that doesn’t mean every drunk Uber passenger is as close-minded as drivers might hope – far from it, there have been countless reported cases of drunken passengers being grumpy and naughty.
Uber is now filing a patent for app functionality that will use machine learning to determine the state of someone based on how they use the Uber app, for example if they make typos, press a button inaccurately, or hold their device abnormally – and take into account such factors like the speed at which they go.
While Uber has not explicitly stated its intentions for this feature, many rightly believe it will be most useful to help drivers know in advance if they are going to pick someone up while drunk. And if the user of the application seems to be in a seriously altered state of mind, it can only be picked up by drivers who have the proper experience in such situations. These individuals may also be denied travel sharing.
Everyone around us seems to be hoping that this new app functionality will improve Uber‘s experience and make life safer for everyone – those who drink, those who don’t, and those who take them in taxis.
But Uber doesn’t just have to worry about drunken passengers. There have also been incidents when drivers used these people. In terms of protecting passengers from these adverse situations, Uber will also have to answer for this, probably through the introduction of technology.
Smartphone alcohol meter BACtrack
The reality is that it is sometimes difficult to tell if you have reached or exceeded the legal limit for drunkenness, and reaching that level can vary between people depending on their body. It is important to understand your limits, both in terms of how you feel and in terms of what is allowed by law if you are driving.
To accurately determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), you will need a breathalyzer. You might think they are intended for use by police officers when they stop drunk drivers, or for people who must prove their moderation after being charged with drunk driving or other alcohol-related incidents that led to condemnation; but BACtrack offers a customized breathalyzer for people who want to be sure they can drive after getting drunk.
BACtrack provides several compact breathalyzers that sync with the mobile app to indicate your BAC. In other cases, you may want to track someone else’s BAC. The ZeroLine functionality in BACtrack will then provide an approximate time frame in which your BAC will return to normal. Ultimately, getting this data in real time can help you and others make smarter decisions.
But BACtrack is not only good for identifying yours or someone else’s BAC. You can also attach notes to your BAC scores to keep track of what you ate and drank, where you were and with whom, and how you felt when you took your breathalyzer test.
Having this history will help you make better decisions that will lead to healthier or safer results. And having a compact, portable breathalyzer like the BACtrack that meets the demands of our digital age can mean the difference between a safe night and one that ends badly.
A sober social network
Despite all the great technology that has pervaded the alcohol industry to make it more enjoyable for those who drink for the sake of taste and safer for those who drink for pleasure, drinking is not for everyone – and for some it may not be part of life. Being sober is no easy task, but Sober Grid, a social networking app that helps people stay sober, makes it more manageable.
Sober Grid is the largest mobile community of sane people, with over 130,000 users as of 2019, and it’s completely free. One of the key features of the app is the Burning Desire button. Users can click on it if they have a serious desire to soak up, and others in the Sober Grid community can ask for support.
As with other social networks, Sober Grid users can create profiles and connect, chat and share news with other users in their region and around the world using what is called The Grid. In addition to joining the community of other sober minded people, Sober Grid users also have access to 24/7 certified peer educators who are trained and certified to help people get sober and stay sober.
By building these relationships with others who are alcohol-free and have access to support instructors, users can find confidence, support and solidarity in their mission to quit alcohol altogether.
Technology is changing the alcohol industry, from how people drink or not drink to the choices they make under these conditions. Importantly, the technologies being introduced are helping people better understand how they cope with their relationship with alcohol and ultimately creating a more responsible drinking culture. Are there any other technologies you know that are changing the alcohol industry? Let us know in the comments.