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RFID-based App Helps Consumers Find a Cold Drink

Cool&Go is an app-based extension of Blulog's automated data-logging system to point consumers in the direction of beverages or ice cream in their neighborhood, while also sharing their temperatures.
By Claire Swedberg

Throughout the past year, Blulog has been working on a solution that combines the logger data and the QR code information access, as a way to more actively promote products. In 2016, the company tested a system known as CoolBeer for Heineken at an Amsterdam trade show, to push logger information stored with beer products to app users' phones.

Here's how it worked: a consumer could download an app and turn on its GPS functionality. If the individual was within the trade show area and wanted a cold beer, he or she would open the app. The app would determine that person's location and display the locations of all loggers dedicated to Heineken stored in the area. Users could then easily purchase a cold beer.

Cool&Go operates the same way, with users downloading the app on their Android- or iOS-based device. They can then input a request for something they seek, such as a cold soda or beer, or an ice cream. The participating brands in that neighborhood will have data available about their location in the stores, which users can view. The app will display the locations of those items relative to a user's phone, and that person can then visit the nearest cooler. Upon arrival, he or she can scan a QR code to not only learn that item's temperature, but also receive a puzzle piece toward earning a free product.

For brands and stores, the app offers a new way to gain benefits from an automated logger system that helps them manage temperatures. The brands can view the data in the software, in order to ensure that stores maintain the proper temperatures without sending associates to the site to check. In addition, stores can view those temperatures so that workers need not manually check conditions, and have an automated record to share with the brands and with regulators.

By using Cool&Go, Laurens says, stores or brands "can provide transparency to their customers," while also encouraging them to enter stores, approach coolers and then be more likely to make a purchase. By requiring consumers to collet puzzle pieces from a variety of merchants, he adds, "The game pushes end users to visit different stores, all locally."

Blulog is currently in discussions with several beer brands in the United States and Europe to deploy the Cool&Go application with their products. The firm is also in the planning stage of deploying the system for a Polish retail chain spanning thousands of stores. That company, however, has asked to remain unnamed.

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