What makes brands like Google, Coca-Cola and P&G some of the world’s best loved is their ability to innovate. But it’s not only the cream of the crop who are leading the way in terms of BIG ideas. There are other brands, close behind, like InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) and Diageo, who are holding their own in the innovation stakes.
Diageo, working with the UK-based invention company Cambridge Consultants, has unveiled the machine that will solve the age-old problem of a kitchen laced with sticky lime juice, bruised leaves of mint and work surfaces caked with melting sugar and dripping ice.
Designing the new speedy cocktail dispenser was surprisingly tricky, said Mark Harrison, technical director of Diageo, the major league drinks industry firm. The problem lies with the pipes. As the slushy drink flows through the dispensing machine’s chilled pipework, it freezes solid to cause a blockage.
However, the inventions company’s trade secrets won the day, ensuring that the pipes are now made of material that encourages the ice “to nucleate in suspension” – this, it would seem, avoids unwanted impasse.
Similarly, IHG are working hard with scientific researchers to forge a pathway to the future of the hospitality industry.
The hotel chain won the Eco-lodging award at the China Hotel Investment Summit last year for its Green Engage programme – an on-line system which will help hotel general managers measure and manage energy consumption more effectively – and Innovation Hotel – an online example of what a future hotel might look like if it used new green technologies.
IHG eco-friendly hotels can now be found in Bora Bora, Guangzhou and Alice Springs, plus there are many more in the pipeline. The image above shows the type of hotel in which we could all be staying in the ‘green’ future that IHG envisage.
Cool things happen when science and big business combine.