Time spent waiting for your beer at the bar may soon be over. iPourIt allows patrons to pour their own draft beer and wine on tap while keeping tabs on the ounces poured. This new system is the latest product to receive the Cool Idea! Award from Proto Labs (NYSE: PRLB), the world’s fastest manufacturer of CNC machined and injection molded parts.
The Cool Idea! Award was launched by the Maple Plain, Minn.-based company in 2011 to give product designers the opportunity to bring innovative products to life. This year, Proto Labs expanded the program to the European Union and will provide $250,000 total worth of prototyping and short-run production services to award recipients.
“The combined benefit to the business and the customer is what makes iPourIt such a cool idea,” says Larry Lukis, founder and chief technology officer of Proto Labs. “The fact that it not only eliminates a customer’s wait time, but also helps the bar provide better service and reduce waste is a classic win-win.”
When a bar makes the decision to install iPourIt, they can either move some or all of their taps to a location accessible to customers and fit them with iPourIt valves, meters and RFID readers; or install a pre-configured standalone kegerator. A customer can obtain an RFID wristband, dubbed the iPourIt Pass, from a staff member who scans the patron’s driver’s license and credit card to activate the wristband. When the customer initiates a pour, the iPourIt Pass reader scans the wristband, verifies the account and checks to make sure the customer hasn’t reached any limits set by the bar. The customer then pours his or her own drink. The meter tracks the pour and automatically adds the exact ounces poured to the customer’s tab. Customers can also create a profile on the iPourIt website to see the beers they’ve poured at all iPourIt equipped locations, rate them, find favorite beers at nearby taps, reserve pints ahead of time and even buy rounds for friends.
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