Augmented cocktails

In London’s City Social bar and restaurant, Jason Atherton will soon offer visitors an immersive drink experience. Mirage will be the new cocktail menu at the Michelin-starred bar, and it launches in June. A smartphone app developed by Mustard Design will bring each drink to life with AR.

Each drink offers a unique experience with artwork that reflects the flavors and themes. City Social revealed that famous artists like Van Gogh, Picasso, and Banksy inspired some of the animations. “Immers[ing] guests in a vibrant, interactive world where great tasting cocktails become interactive art.”

The app is not a gimmick but rather a tool to improve the overall cocktail experience. Atherton stated that he and Jamie [Jones] wanted their drinks to be the best in the world and hoped this would really put them on the map. “We take our drinks as seriously as our food, to ensure that quality and creativity are evident.”

The use of augmented reality engages visitors and encourages them to experience food, drink, and taste differently. City Social is a reflection of the integration of technology and a shift towards immersive dining experiences. Visual technologies like AR and VR are redefining dining by bringing attention to the stories, tastes, and ingredients of each creation.

Virtual reality and augmented realities can be used to increase transparency. KabaQ created an AR app that lets visitors see their choices in 3D before they decide what to order. Just Eat, a food delivery startup, is working with Microsoft HoloLens in order to provide customers with an augmented preview before they pay. Brands can gain consumer trust by showing their products in an interactive, visual way.

KFC in India saw great success with its AR app, which promoted the low price of their meals. Customers could scan any Indian banknote with their smartphones to see what they can buy at KFC. About 35,000 people have downloaded the app in order to find out what they can buy. It was briefly ranked as the number one app in India’s Food & Drink category, a testament to its popularity.

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AR is growing as a whole. By 2020, the global augmented-reality market is predicted to reach 90 billion dollars. AR has been used by food and beverage brands to make their packaging come to life.

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. Brands can now aim higher than just packaging with the advances in AR.The experience economy has much to gain from augmented reality, especially in the food and beverage sector. AR, when used creatively, can be a powerful tool to engage customers on a deeper, more personal level, provide entertainment, or even demonstrate brand transparency. As consumers get more comfortable with AR, brands should consider ways to use it.

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