The Drinks Fountain

— 2012 / Trace

When we launched Trace in 2012 we threw an opening party at Kontiki at Holmen in Copenhagen. We needed something that would attract attention, engage our guests and make sure that everybody would know what Trace is all about when they left the party. We wanted to take enable “pay with a Tweet” in the real world and deliver a real product that people actually want. The concept is really simple: Tweet with #traceagency and the fountain will flow.

We based the Drinks Fountain on an Android phone (Samsung Nexus S), an Arduino MEGA ADK and the Twitter streaming API. The Android device communicates with the Arduino board via the Android ADK, which is a powerful way of creating Internet enabled objects bridging the gap between the physical and digital space. The Arduino controls a 12V pump that you would normally find in a caravan but in this case was mounted in a tank containing 80 liters of alcoholic beverages. By using the Twitter streaming API we managed to get the latency from a Tweet to a drink down to a few seconds.

Our guests absolutely loved the Drinks Fountain. Over the night we served more than 350 cocktails made from fresh unfiltered apple juice, Trace’s homemade ginger syrup and vodka. The project was a great way of showing what we mean when we talk about combining the digital and physical world. We also believe it’s a great example of the power simple interactions with a surprising element that make people smile and engage in this great experience.