Jim Beam claims to be selling a voice-operated ‘smart decanter’. It’s almost certainly a spoof on smart home tech, despite the company claiming it really is for sale.
The ‘JIM’ appears to be a very basic version of a Google Home or Amazon Echo. It’s got an interactive ‘smart assistant’ – voiced by the company’s ‘master distiller’ Fred Noe – that uses voice recognition to answer questions on demand. However, it appears they are limited to questions about drinking and preparing bourbon.
The promotional material suggests this works over a 3G connection that will cease after roughly six months, at which point the smart functions stop working. If the product is real, that would suggests Jim Beam has struck a time-limited deal to provide cellular service, similar to those Kindles which had a free 3G connection for downloading books.
The only other feature of the device is decanting bourbon on voice demand. There’s no detail about whether the device is limited to recognizing a single voice or if it can be operated by anyone in the household.
At the time of writing, the $34.99 device is listed as being limited to one per customer, with pre-orders arriving by December 15. It’s showing as ‘temporarily out of stock’ and it’s not clear if anyone really has placed and completed an order.