Royal Caribbean's ‘Quantum of the Seas’ has bionic bar, virtual balconies, and increased internet bandwidth

Cruises are traditionally for those who want to “escape from it all”—limited internet connectivity, cell surcharge fees, and open ocean views usually persuade vacationers to trade in devices for mindless reading and poolside relaxation. Royal Caribbean’s newest vessel, Quantum of the Seas plans to change cruises’ low-tech image by showcasing cutting edge leisure technologies, first and foremost at their robotic bar.

Staffed by bionic arms rather than black-tied bartenders, the ship’s Bionic Bar invites passengers to engineer their own drink. Customers place a drink order via tablet (choosing from menu offerings or a custom drink) and robotic arms stir, shake, and strain the perfect cocktail. Data boards surrounding the bar display the most popular drinks of the day, as well as other metrics about passengers’ bar interaction. Makr Shakr, the company who produces the Bionic Bar, revealed its technology at Google I/O 2013. Quantum of the Seas is the first commercial application of the system.

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