Smart glass taps into beer drinker’s data

A “smart” drinking glass embedded with a microchip gathers data on drinker preferences for beverage companies, with the customer offered perks and promotions in exchange.

KIRKLARELI, TURKEY (PASABAHCE INNOVATION FURNACE) – A joint Israeli-Turkish venture has developed a “smart” drinking glass by embedding a microchip in its base that links to an app on a smartphone and sends data back to beverage companies and product promotions to the consumer.

Privately-owned startup “Glassify” says that by providing bars with chip-equipped branded glasses at almost the same price as regular glasses, a beer brewer, for example, can track sales and also tap into information, such as age, gender and beverage preferences, that a customer enters into the app in return for perks such as a drink on the house or discounts.

“It benefits everybody in that case. The consumer gets the content and promotions that he cares about and at the same time the brewery and the bar are able to target consumers based on the things they like, which attracts them to come to the bar more,” said Ben Biron, head of product at Glassify, as he demonstrated the app at a makeshift bar in the company’s Tel Aviv headquarters.

The app was developed through a partnership between the Turkish glassware company Pasabahce’s Innovation Furnace and Israeli beverage analytics company, Weissbeerger. Omer Agiv, founder and CEO of Weissbeerger, and a Glassify board member, said Glassify has conducted two successful pilots, in Europe and in Israel.

“Once he (the consumer) puts it (the smart glass) next to his smartphone the magic happens because it automatically detects the smart glass and then all the data is being transmitted to the cloud and we know who is he, what’s his age, what’s his name…is it the first time that he’s holding this brand, what’s his history of consumption and then the beverage company gets this information and can interact with him in real-time”, Agiv said.

Asked whether Glassify’s smart glass could potentially threaten a user’s privacy, Agiv said the company was committed to keeping the data highly confidential and ensuring consumer anonymity.

“It’s non-intrusive. We’re not trying to ‘gamify’ the data in a way that will reveal something we don’t want to be revealed,” he said.

Glassify, Agiv said, envisions a revolution in glassware worldwide where smart glasses become a commodity similar to smart phones.

The first batch is due to reach the market in North America and Europe in the first quarter of 2017.