Heineken’s ‘Smart’, ‘Club’ and ‘Remix Your Future’ Bottles Ignite the Magazzini Pop-up Space in Milan

Heineken is re-inventing clubbing experience with the introduction of the Heineken Ignite beer bottle that detects and responds to people’s motion and sound vibrations. The prototype of the brand’s “first smart beer bottle” was revealed at 2013 Design Week in Milan on April 9 as part of Heineken’s Lounge of the Future concept. For the project, the digital team of the beer giant has collaborated with Tribal DDB Amsterdam and a selection of other partners and experts from various fields.

Photo: The Heineken smart bottle (click to enlarge),www.heinekenignite.tumblr.com

The bottle is born to become an integral part of the future night club’s environment. Thanks to micro sensors and wireless networking technology embedded into the “podium” of the bottle, it responds to lights and various motions by lighting up or diming down. For instance, when people are “cheersing,” a spark goes through the battery-powered bottle, and when a person is drinking the beer, the bottle’s LED lights start to spin faster. The bottle lives its own life when is not in the hands of a drinker—it “sleeps” and “breathes,” when is standing on the table, and—if programmed—the bottle also gets remotely activated by the club music, becoming part of a laser show. View the video below to see how it works.

Currently, the bottle is unveiled only as a prototype piece, and the brand will continue the experiments with the concept to figure out if it is reasonable to roll it out in the market. “With the Heineken Ignite bottle, we have created the first social bottle, which blends human behavior and communication, club environment and interaction together with the iconic green Heineken bottle for a unique experience,” reads the dedicated page that contains a technical description of the bottle’s features.

The idea behind the smart bottle is based on an innovative project methodology developed by Tribal DDB called “SPARK.” The project has been developing like a start-up and involved creative brainstorms, multiple briefings, rapid development of the final prototype and many tests over a period of 10 weeks. “The hardest part of innovation is making it happen within the increasingly faster pace that new technologies and innovations are rolled out,” commented Sandra Krstic, deputy managing partner at Tribal DDB Amsterdam. “Heineken recognized it needed to adopt the principles of lean start-ups.”

Photo: Fernando Degrassi’s winning design, the best work of the 2012/13 Your Future Bottle Design Challenge

Heineken has been using the prestigious Milan Design Week as a platform to launch groundbreaking visual solutions around the theme of bottle and clubbing space design. This year at the event, the brand has opened the Magazzini pop-up space and announced Fernando Degrossi from Brazil the winner of the 2012/13 Your Future Bottle Design Challenge. Among three other finalists of the contest, and his work is selected to be featured on a Heineken limited-edition bottle soon. Coinciding this festive moment, the brand has also presented the new origami-inspired aluminum ‘Club’ bottle, developed by graphic artist Matt W. Moore. It features innovative two-color UV ink printing process and is set to succeed Heineken’s award winning STR bottle.

Photo: Heineken 2013 ‘Club’ Bottle, by Matt W. Moore

At the event, the brand has also announced a new international design competition as part of the Heineken Open Design Explorations (ODE) innovation project. The creative minds from Warsaw, Mexico City, New York and Singapore specializing in a variety of design disciplines including fashion, motion, product, interior and graphic are invited to participate and develop a pop-up space that will be exhibited at Fuori Salone 2014 and other cities next year. Designers can submit their portfolio and consumers can share inspirational images at the Heineken tumblr page. This would be the second crowd-sourced design for the club, following The Club at Milan Design Week in 2012.