Bud Light is trying to ensure the Internet of Things includes beer. The USA's largest beer brand has launched the "Bud-E Fridge" that promises to give drinkers real-time data on their fridge -- like how much beer is on hand -- via a mobile app.
The WiFi-connected refrigerator has a digital counter on the outside showing the number of beers inside. The information is also displayed on an app available for Apple and Android devices. Both the app and fridge include a countdown timer showing how long until the beer inside reaches its "optimal serving temperature" of below 32 degrees "without freezing them," according to the Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned brand.
Bud Light is also making an ecommerce play: When the fridge is low on brews, the app integrates with alcohol delivery service Saucey. It won't allow for automated ordering. But users can set up a stock point -- like "when I have 10 beers left" -- at which point they will get a push notification connecting to Saucey's app. Age-verification occurs in the Bud Light app and the Saucey app, as well as in person at delivery, according to an A-B InBev spokesman.
The fridge itself, which is covered in Bud Light branding, is initially only available to California residents who can order it at Budlight.com. The program could be expanded later, according to a spokeswoman. The manufacturer's suggested retail price is $599, but there is an introductory discount bringing the price to $299. It can hold 78 beers. Asked if the fridge works with any beer brand, a spokeswoman for the brewer said yes but added, "we certainly think it's best with a fresh, cold Bud Light."
Read more about the Bud Light E-Fridge effort on AdAge.com.