All the fuss around the Internet of Things (IoT) may have simmered down a bit lately, but major brands are still researching ways to connect their products to the interconnected web of smart devices. Consumers have slightly eye-rolled at what they perceive to be “gimmicky” applications of IoT technology – after all, no one really needs their toilet to be connected to the internet. Regardless, companies are still looking for ways to use the IoT to engage with consumers.
Benefits to a smart bottle of liquor
Take, for example, Absolut Vodka, who just opened an Internet of Things lab in Stockholm, Sweden to research and innovate new IoT connected products.
Markus Wulff, Absolut’s digital growth manager, directly addresses consumer skepticism towards new IoT products, admitting that there has “been a gimmicky side to it” and that “consumers will be turned off” if Absolut uses the IoT to become the digital equivalent of a pushy salesman. Nonetheless, Wulff is optimistic that Absolut can find ways to “create a consumer valued service.”
Imagine a smart connected vodka bottle that knows that when you reach for the cocktail, it’s also time to dim the lights and turn on the stereo, or one that knows it’s almost empty and automatically orders a replacement.
The liquor bottle could also connect to bartending apps to help you concoct drink recipes with ingredients you already have at home, or could update you when there are discounts and coupons available.
Highlighting missed opportunities
Absolut is partnering with SharpEnd, an agency that helps brands maximize their potential in the Internet of Things. Founder Cameron Worth says they are trying to “highlight the missed opportunities” for manufacturers to turn their goods into interconnected devices that engage with, and collect data about the customer.
Worth also admits that the IoT has produced a lot of “shit-use cases” but believes that they can learn from these mistakes: “because there have been so many bad cases, it has worked positively for us when something is delivered that answers real business problems.”
Absolut will debut test products next year in the UK, Spain, and Canada.