Recently passing 75 percent of the product’s funding goal on Kickstarter, the Barman is a lifestyle gadget that combines a digital scale, LED lights, Bluetooth and a smartphone application to guide anyone through the process of pouring a tasty cocktail. To get started, the user places a glass with or without ice on top of the Barman. Using the accompanying smartphone application, the user selects a drink recipe. The Barman instantly prompts the user to pour the first ingredient in the cocktail in addition to illuminating the glass in a pale blue light.
As the user pours each ingredient, a progress indicator appears on the LCD display of the Barman. In addition to checking the progress meter, the user can also watch for the blue light illuminating the cup to switch to a shade of red. This is a visual indication that enough liquid has been poured and the user should stop.
The Barman will then prompt the user to pour the next ingredient and so on until the drink is complete. Rather than mess with jiggers or shot glasses when attempting to measure out the correct amount of alcohol for a drink, the Barman allows the user to pour directly from the bottle.
While the Barman iOS or Android smartphone application will be filled with tons of drink recipes, the user can choose to alter the ingredients in a recipe based off their personal preferences or input entirely new recipes. After a drink has been completed, the user has the option of sharing news of the drink creation on Facebook and Twitter. If one of your social network friends also owns a Barman, they can download the same drink recipe and try it out themselves.
Powered by a simple 9-volt battery, the current prototype version of the Barman has a polished wooden shell. However, the creator of the Barman plans to transition to “impact resistant, high gloss, black tempered glass” in order to avoid any form of water damage due to drink spillage or condensation from the glass.
Regarding battery life, the current version of the Barman has been tested consistently over the last month and the original 9-volt battery still seems to be working. The scale used within the Barman uses software and hardware that’s similar to a commercial-grade postage machine. This allows the scale to ignore the weight of different glasses as well as varying amounts of ice prior to helping someone mix a drink.
While a device like the Bartendro completely automates the process of making drinks, the Barman allows the use of carbonated mixers, offers a much smaller form factor and costs significantly less than other automated solutions. Early backers can purchase the Barman for $49 for the base unit or spring for a more expensive backer level in order to score some additional bar gear like a drink shaker, liquor pouring caps or cocktail glasses. According to the Kickstarter page, the developers of the Barman plan to ship the device by September 2013. As with all Kickstarter projects, be aware that manufacturing delays can easily delay shipment of the product beyond the target launch date.