It may still be a while before we’re sipping Martinis aboard Richard Branson’s commercial spaceship, but we can already enjoy everything from robot bartenders to virtual reality cocktails. Here, the seven most high-tech bars in the world.
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Las Vegas, NV
This technicolor, interactive robotic experience can be found, of course, on the Las Vegas Strip. The bar has two robots on staff equipped with 16 soda and juice lines, syrup and ice dispensers, fruit cutters and over 100 liquors. They shake, stir and strain, but it’s up to you to create your own signature drink recipe. Not sure where to begin? Consult the Galactic Ambassadors, otherwise known as real life human bartenders. Once you have your automated cocktail, enjoy it in the industrial-themed venue, decorated with metal mesh, corrugated steel and large screens streaming “cosmic-inspired” videos and live updates of the drinks being created. There’s also a live social media video wall, a socially-connected photo booth and an app for ordering drinks and rating favorites. And, unlike human bartenders, the robots won’t complain if you ask to charge your phone—there are charging ports next to each drink ordering station.
San Francisco, CA
At first glance, this San Francisco nightclub looks like just about every other luxe nightclub, with flashing lights and video projections on the walls, but there’s some savvy technology hidden within the dance floor. The Sustainable Energy Floor generates power to run the club through people dancing on top of it. When club-goers step on the luminescent floor, not only does it change colors, but it also converts the energy of the crowd’s movement into real, sustainable power.
Fans of Pokémon Go will be familiar with the technology used at City Social in London, the bar’s “augmented reality cocktails” offer an enhanced visual experience, pairing every cocktail with an artistic animation. You download an app and scan a coaster, and then animated characters and illustrations emerge from your glass. For example, their blood orange tequila cocktail is accompanied by Day of the Dead-style skeletons performing in a mariachi band, while a wheat beertail immerses you in Van Gogh’s “A Wheatfield” painting.
One step beyond AR, Baptiste & Bottle at The Conrad hotel in Chicago is offering a VR, or virtual reality, cocktail. Created in partnership with The Macallan, this $95 cocktail features a VR headset experience, which takes the drinker on an immersive journey through the scotch’s production, from the American forests, to the Spanish sherry bodegas, to the Scottish distillery. Beyond the futuristic gimmick, patrons also enjoy neat pours of sherry, The Macallan Rare Cask and a simple cocktail combining the two.
There’s no need to rifle through a laminated tome of songs at this Hong Kong karaoke bar chain. Red MR features Microsoft touchscreen tables that allow patrons to browse and choose songs—you can also order drinks through the tablets and play poker. There are even speciality rooms available with Xbox Kinect for virtual, gesture control games like darts. The touchscreens can also scan microchips secured to the bottom of beer bottles, to pull up information about the beer.
Las Vegas, NV
You don’t even have to leave your seat to make a move on someone at this sensory Las Vegas bar at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino—just use the interactive touch tables to send a text message to the table across the room. If that’s not your style, you can still enjoy the tech by pulling up visualizations that dance across the table in sync with the music or connect your iPod to send songs to the DJ.
This dazzling Singapore bar would blend in perfectly with the bioluminescent trees of Avatar’s Pandora. SuperTree by IndoChine is situated high in the sky, much like an actual tree, and features an outdoor, revolving floor with a 360 degree view of Marina Bay. All of the food and drinks are ordered from a tablet, and at certain times, the entire bar illuminates with a choreographed neon light show that looks like sparkling stars.