Here's a scenario that's not hard to imagine: You've had a long day at work and now that you're finally home you'd like a drink. But going to the liquor cabinet, picking out a bottle, walking to the fridge for a mixer—let alone getting a glass—is just too much effort. You're tired, dammit! Wouldn't it be better if within seconds of walking in the door your favorite drink was waiting for you, and all you had to do was knock it back?
Too good to be true, you say? (Or maybe you just don't have a spouse.) Well, thanks to the creators of Monsieur, a new robotic bartender, this fantasy will soon be a reality—at least if the Kickstarter project gets funded.
While it'd be great if Monsieur resembled Tom Cruise in Cocktail, it's actually a sleek black wooden box that takes up about as much room as a microwave. All you have to do is load it with your favorite alcohol and mixers, select a drink on the colorful touchscreen, and voilá: Monsieur whips it up for you. (You can even use the app to place your order from across the room.)
Need help deciding on a cocktail? The gadget's computer brain comes programmed with 12 distinct, albeit hackneyed, themes (like Cigar Bar, Irish Pub, and Tiki Bar) and can make 25 different cocktails within each theme (assuming you've stocked it with the right ingredients). It also has a "Surprise Me" feature for when you're feeling adventurous or can't make up your mind.
As an artificially intelligent mixologist, Monsieur attempts to make up for what it lacks in good old bartender wit and chatter with smarts. Sync it with the companion app (on the same Wi-Fi) and it'll send you an alert when ingredients are running low. It can also track your drink consumption (but not calories, at least yet), estimate your blood alcohol level (based on gender and weight), and even help you book a cab (if you're too sozzled to get behind the wheel) by connecting you to a taxi app like Uber or Taxi Magic. The app can also be configured to offer you a drink when your favorite sports team scores (you pick your team in the app and it monitors scores online) or detect when another phone joins your Wi-Fi network and suggest a drink for your companion. The app even knows if you've come home late and will suggest you have a double to take the edge off.
It all sounds pretty great—and way more fun to play with than the Roomba, for sure. But still, any sort of artificially intelligent robot that learns your habits and tastes inevitably brings up frightening "what if" scenarios. Like, what if Monsieur begins to think it knows you better than you know yourself and decides you should only drink Hurricanes? Or that you should drink when the Red Sox score and you're a lifelong Yankees fan? What if it gets jealous and tries to poison your date (or just mix him or her a really terrible cocktail)? In any event, it'll help you drink your sorrows away—and then automatically order more booze when it's on the verge of running dry.
(Monsieur is available for pre-order through Kickstarter. It comes in two versions: one that holds four liquors and mixers for $1,499 and another with capacity for up to eight liquors and mixers for $2,699.)
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