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Where IoT meets the beverage industry

IoT-assisted alcohol dispenser for Indian bars Finnant Design’s booze-dispensing fountains are smart and accurate.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most hyped technologies in recent times. But Bengaluru-based Finnant Designs, a coming together of four industry experts, is already transforming the food and beverage industry from being reactive to proactive to predictive.

In a typical bar there is a lot of over-pouring: unintentional ‘eye-balling’ or a complimentary top-off. If a bottle (or a case) disappears from the bar’s inventory it is sunk cost; but if something is served but never makes it into your ledger, that’s loss of revenue.

Taking a top-down approach into designing the most sophisticated alcohol dispenser for the F&B industry, Finnant Designs have made a remarkable entry to the IoT domain as a startup.

According to Mr Shrikant Gothe, Managing Director of Finnant Designs, “When visiting watering holes over a few months, it became evident to us that hand pouring of drinks was leading to lost revenue due to pilferage, non-availability of instant sales data.” Well-designed dispensers for alcohol became a niche offering.

Taking into consideration the technical challenges specific to alcohol, the company’s development activity was focused on fluidics, metering and precision. There was also a need to understand how the excise department, the Central Food Technology Research Institute, department of weights and measures, customers and consumers would view this approach.

Mr Prashant Rao, an alumnus of NID-Ahmedabad, and Mr Jayateertha Malagi, a dispenser domain expert, designed and included the critical IoT system for back-end analytics, data on demand, precise dispensing measurements and ability to tweak the offerings in real time to a bar’s customers.

The IoT system also offers consumption patterns, pump performance, remote diagnostics, etc. The firm is investing significant technical work into finding novel ways of using various fluidics elements, sensors and metering to suit different beverages and mixology.

Finnant Designs has built two major products: the Fountain 8G and Fountain 8S. These are not just dispensers but also a statement, says Prashant: “It is for bars and pubs to really shout-out that they serve genuine volume of their liquor.” The Fountain 8S has a 40-inch screen built into it, which allows companies to advertise their products right on the counter, where there is maximum service traffic.

The multi-nozzle dispensers can take up to eight products; can track sales over different geographical locations; use 10-inch touch-screen for control; and have a footprint of 4x1.8x1 (LxBxH) feet.

Once the bottles are loaded on to the fountain and product icons matched, it can dispense drinks in 30-ml and 60-ml measures within 5 seconds, without wastage of even 1-ml liquid.

“Bartending has remained almost unchanged since its inception. Our dispensers pour directly into the glass, where each drop is digitally controlled. This is a culture change,” says Shrikant.

Finnant has been able to get its approvals from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, and certification from Regional reference Standard Laboratory. Finnant Designs has finalised distributors in 10 states so far. For details email greenleafdesign1@gmail.com.