Building a better beer tap with Android and Arduino
Drinking beer that has been poured straight from the tap is one of the best ways to enjoy the adult beverage. Beer from a tap that nobody else can access (unless authorized) is even better.
Drinking beer requires a certain amount of supervision. Regardless if the experience is self-monitored or kept in check by our peers, keeping a close eye on the proceedings is usually a good idea. While a free-flowing fount of beer may seem like a good idea (because it is), sometimes it's probably best to be kept under lock and key. Or in this case, under an NFC reader.
Google employee and home-brewer Paul Carff designed the KegDroid as a novel way to dispense beer. Users gain access into the system by using their own individual NFC tag or badge. Using a custom app on a Xoom tablet running Android ICS, the system pulls data from Google Plus and then lets the imbibers-to-be select their beer of choice. The physical aspect of the procedure is handled by an Arduino micro controller and the system is smart enough to pour the proper amount into the glass or mug size that was selected.
There are a lot of possibilities for a beer dispenser that authorizes access remotely. It's an interesting proof-of-concept that could make its way into a variety of situations and locales. (Also check out our coverage offor additional use of "drinker accounts"). Even if it is just used to keep pesky roommates away from the tap.