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Drinks Become Art with Augmented Reality Cocktails

City Social bar and restaurant is upgrading its cocktail menu with augmented reality art.

City Social is a high-class London bar and restaurant created by Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton. One of its specialities is it’s cocktail menu, featuring unique and distinctive cocktail recipes, which City Social is seeking to enhance even more by adding augmented reality (AR).

Before choosing any of the twelve cocktails available on the menu, guests are asked to download an app to their smartphones called MIRAGE, which was created by Mustard Designs. When the guest receives the requested cocktail, they have the option of pointing their phone camera at it and activating the app to see the cocktail transformed into a piece of interactive art on the phone screen.

The artwork has the theme of ‘art through the ages’ and features diverse pieces from well-known artists such as Van Gough, Banksy and Andy Warhol. The ‘Wheatfields with Fizz’ cocktails shows an image of Van Gough’s painting, such as the stunning Starry Night when viewed through the app. Another drink named Sashay uses imagery from the Art Nouveau movement, while Dogstone Brew uses pictures inspired by the Victorian era, including some images reminiscent of Monty Python’s famous animated scenes.

The app was developed over the course of 18 months by a collaboration between City Social’s bar manager Tim Laferla and The Social Company’s group bar executive Jamie Jones and web design and animation agency Mustard Design with the aim of transforming how cocktails are consumed.

Of course, MIRAGE is not the only place where cocktails and VR/AR technology are being mixed together. Flairtender on Steam Early Access for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift with Touch allows players to get to grips with how to properly mix and shake cocktails.

VRFocus will continue to bring you news on innovative VR and AR projects.

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