A Beer by the Sensor; An Indiana start-up showcased technology this week meant to help bars and restaurants — and maybe even patrons — keep track of the beer remaining in a keg

NOVEMBER 8, 2013, 2:38 PM

A Beer by the Sensor



SteadyServ, an Indiana-based company, is a recent entrant in the technology industry’s desire to serve up what we want to drink whenever we want to drink it. The much-hyped Internet of Things may someday arrive as promised. While we wait, maybe we should grab a pint of good beer? That is where new technology from an Indiana start-up firm could come in handy. The company, SteadyServ Technologies, showcased technology this week to help bars and restaurants — and maybe even patrons — keep track of the beer remaining in a keg.The company puts a donut-shaped sensor under every keg — essentially a scale —  that sends a wireless signal to an app about how fast the beer is being consumed and how much is left. The system is meant to take the guesswork out of beer orders so your local pub should be able to more efficiently stock the draft that customers love.

And for those who like to belly up to the bar, that means they should never again be told that their favorite tap has run dry.

Most of this technology should remain out of view of beer drinkers. But the company hopes that as craft beers grow more popular, the technology could also be used to lure drinkers to a place with a ready supply of a hard-to-find brew. With SteadyServ’s constant stream of data, a bartender could write a tweet when tapping a keg of beer, then another when the keg gets low.

“They can say, ‘Better hurry up — only 32 pints of Brooklyn Pale Ale are left,’” said Steve Hershberger, SteadyServ’s chief executive. “It creates a sense of urgency.”

@brewhouse #NSIndy Hurry in for lunch! Only 74 pints of @Flat12Bierwerks Half Cycle left! #ikeg

— Ryan Kellerman (@sbh_ryan) 8 Nov 13

If this idea sounds familiar, it’s because thirsty computer programmers have been using the Internet for decades to issue early warnings when a preferred drink was running low. As far back as 1982, people in Carnegie Mellon’s computer science department wired a Coca-Cola vending machine to update them at their terminals to the quantity and temperature of bottles. A primary motivation for the networked Coke machine, according to a history on the university’s website, was that, “It got rather annoying to traipse down to the third floor only to find the machine empty.”

There weren’t any sensors or wireless signals or smartphones used for that system. But people were thirsty then, and they’re thirsty now. And you can’t blame a company like SteadyServ for trying to improve the Internet of Things to drink and eat, and to slake everyone’s thirst in a more satisfactory fashion.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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