- Patrón Tequila, the brand of spirits started by billionaire John Paul DeJoria, debuted a mobile application that uses augmented reality (AR) technology to show consumers how its tequilas are made and to provide guidance on at-home tastings, according to a press release by the company. "The Patrón Experience" was developed with Apple's new ARKit and is free to download from the App Store.
- The app aims to give consumers a closer view of the Patrón Hacienda in Mexico where its tequila is distilled and aged. It also explains the differences among the company’s range of tequilas, including the new Patrón Extra Anejo, the first brand extension in 25 years.
- The app lets users participate in virtual tequila-making by first planting an agave in a computer-generated field, which is projected against any flat surface seen through the iPhone camera. In each stage of the app experience, a video of a bartender provides a guided explanation of the taste characteristics and barrel-aging of the spirits.
The introduction of Apple's iOS 11 and its ARKit is bringing a deluge of apps that leverage AR, the technology popularized by Pokémon Go last summer that overlays virtual images over the real world via smartphone cameras. As The Patrón Experience shows, brands can use AR technology to add value to consumers and provide more in-depth information about a product and its key features, along with the history of a brand.
In the past, Patrón has shown a willingness to experiment with new mobile-ready technologies, including an immersive virtual reality (VR) demonstration two years ago, where users could explore the Patrón production grounds and see how its spirits are made. The new app is an extension of that, but now users can experience it anywhere with their iPhone instead of via a pricey headset only available at select events and retailers.
Patrón has also developed a skill for Alexa, Amazon's voice-activated digital assistant, to bring its "Cocktail Lab" library of recipes to consumers. Earlier this year, Patrón additionally introduced its "Bot-Tender," an artificial intelligence-powered, cocktail-suggesting chatbot on Twitter Direct Message, Facebook Messenger and Patrontequila.com.