blog Virtually Better Booze | Breakthrough Funding

Monday, December 12, 2016

Virtually Better Booze

The oldest beer recipe known to man is from Ancient Sumeria, around 1800BC. Older than both whisky and wine, in essence beer hasn’t really changed that much in over 3,800 years.

Scottish craft brewers Innis and Gunn have found a way to bring beer into the future and make it taste better at the same time. They’re using virtual reality. That’s right, virtual reality technology can actually make beer taste better.

You don’t believe me, do you?

Innis and Gunn have taken the knowledge that VR is basically a trick for the senses which transports you to somewhere you aren’t and applied it to drinking. Knowing that the eyes and ears can be fooled, Innis and Gunn have deduced that the tongue could probably also be convinced of information it received virtually, meaning things would potentially taste differently to how they actually are.

The theory is that by showing images of how and where the beer originated from, your taste buds will also be taken on a journey as you sip. It’s all about feeling like you’re literally in another place, one which may invoke warm, oaky or sweet flavours depending on the landscape you’re shown which includes wheat fields and sunsets.

Innis and Gunn aren’t the only booze company trying to trick their drinkers’ with virtual flavours. Havana Club also have a VR experience which takes you back to it’s birthplace in the rum bars of Cuba. Both of these experiences are playing on the idea that virtual reality can be used as a tool to enhance an experience. Even an experience like drinking- which I’m fairly sure is something that we Brits thought we’d perfected. It’s kind of our thing.

So, is it about drinking in a more attractive location than our battered old bars which makes the experience more pleasurable or are we actually suggesting flavour through image?

I suspect it may be the the former, but whatever the virtual reality reality, as a concept it’s working and people are reporting enhanced drinking experiences.

Personally I think it’s a great and unexpected way to use new technology. You’ve got to try these things. How else will we know if booze could actually be improved upon?

If you’re creating something that can make old, tried and tested experiences feel new and different, let’s get a drink. Give us a call on 0800 772 0800.

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