Cambridge Consultants combines NFC and machine vision for next generation interactive bar

NFC smartphone and drinks ordered via NFC connected bar app
INTERACTIVE BAR: The app connects a customer’s NFC phone to the drinks so orders are not left unattended at the bar

Cambridge Consultants has unveiled an interactive drinks bar that uses NFC to add a new element to the experience of ordering drinks in a busy bar environment.

The immersive bar experience begins with customers placing their drinks orders from their table, using their mobile phone. They are then sent an alert when it is their turn to be served.

Once at the bar, “the phone becomes the centrepiece of a dynamic physical and digital experience that literally links the order on the phone with the drinks being served,” the innovation consultancy says.

“Placing the phone onto the bar triggers the serving experience, while the interactive bubbles identify the customer and order.

“Unlike conventional drinks ordering apps, drinks are never left unattended at the bar — they are linked to the phone as they are prepared for the customer.

“Once all the drinks have been placed on the bar the bubbles burst, and the order is complete.”

A video shows how the experience works:

“NFC and machine vision combine to detect the phone, its position and its orientation,” the consultants explain.

“The system also ‘sees’ the drink on the bar and changes the status of the order, spinning the projected drink name from the server’s point of view to the customer’s.”

“The machine vision can also detect and track other items on the bar, such as bar mats,” Cambridge Consultants adds.

“It creates virtual avatars of them, which interact with the stream of bubbles just as the phone does.

“Graphics move seamlessly from the phone to the projected environment, while moving physical objects on the bar surface allows the customer to play in this digital/physical space.”

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