Sometimes, a product gets reinvented with new tech and you think “Yea, that makes sense.” Sure, there’s a frightening number of Bluetooth speakers out there, but it makes sense to make music more portable. Then there’s the WECHEER.IO, an “internet of things” bottle opener.
Here’s what appears to be the elevator pitch for this product:
WECHEER.IO is a must-have gadget for beer lovers worldwide. Image recognition means the smart bottle opener can instantly identify the person, time, location, and brand of ANY crown-capped bottle. Operating via bluetooth, WECHEER.IO allow users to share their favourite cheers moments along with helping them keep track of their movements the night before.
Ok, let’s start with this, and I mean this in the most sincere way possible: if you’re finding you have multiple nights where you need an app-connected bottle opener to track your movements, you might want to seek professional help. I love beer, and I used to play rugby, so yeah, I’ve had mornings where I had to retrace my steps based on what sort of embarrassing texts I sent the night before. But my response to those nights is usually to give my body a break, not offload the responsibility of tracking my activities to a Bluetooth connected bottle opener. That seems … not super helpful?
Also, I’m a bit confused by the part where image recognition means the bottle opener can ID a person. Does that mean it snaps a photo of the person opening the bottle? Is this all an elaborate plan to catch someone’s roommate filching their six packs? And how does this work when you’re out and about? Do you ask the bartender if they’d mind using your opener instead?
It seems like maybe the people pitching this product were unclear on its use because the WECHEER.IO website gives a few examples of how it can be used in a restaurant or bar setting. In that context, it makes a lot of sense, because a bar can track how much beer they’re opening, what’s popular, and how often, all in the context of one app as opposed to doing manual inventory. That’s a fairly reasonable explanation for shoving Bluetooth into a bottle opener. Personal use is a lot more dicey.
Finally, this thing is projected to cost $55. As a cheaper alternative, you could just superglue a bottle opener to your phone case. That’s a really expensive bottle opener, which is why I tend to think the restaurant market is a better one for this kind of product. Even fancy wine openers don’t run that much — I checked Wine Enthusiast (it sounded like it would a pricey website), and even their electric wine openers come in at around $30 … and that’s for a product that actually does some work! It’s a lot harder to pop out a cork than it is to open a beer cap.
I could be totally wrong, and internet-connected beer openers could be the Next Big Thing. If I am, I owe the creators of WECHEER.IO a drink. In the meantime, I’ll stick with the old-fashioned method of just using my teeth. [To my dentist: I was joking, don’t go buy that Mercedes just yet.]