May 12-13, 2020
Santa Rosa, CA
Technology is seeping into all the cracks and curves of the world, and the world of wine is no exception. Technology is slowly climbing the grapevine and finding its way in the wine industry.
With companies such as Apple, Samsung, and Neiman Marcus adding both Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to their experience, wine is not to be left behind. Aquam Vinos is a combined venture between seven creative minds whose goal is to connect people to the wine industry – namely,Keith Spreckels Jr, Jay Breeden, Adam Miller, Rob Albright, Mickey Miller, Blair Kocher, and Kelly Flowers.
“Without all the seven of us, this won’t be possible at all” said Keith Spreckels Jr., Owner of Aquam Vinos.
In a chat with our editor, Spreckels talks about his inspiration and experience behind LOGO, the Augmented Reality app for all wine lovers out there.
Aquam Vinos is our wine importing company that specializes in connecting people through wine, using VR & AR to help do so.
We also own AVM, which is a Virtual Marketing company, specializing in helping wineries utilize Virtual Reality and Augmented reality to further the consumer experiences and help build their brands in a way never thought possible.
Although AVM is its own company, it runs directly through the parent company Aquam Vinos.
Through AVM, we created the Living LOGO Application, which takes winery labels and brings them to life using Augmented Reality, helping further consumer education and experiences.
The LOGO app is basically a wine database app for consumers. So how it works is, you can scan the label of the wines and an image comes out, and the winemaker explains the wine to you. There’s also a tech sheet included which is accessible just by a click.
The fun part about this is that along with the information about the wine, videos of the winery and chatting with the winemaker will also pop up. The LOGO app also has our faces pop up and talk about the wine - and eventually we’ll have all winemakers do it.
So it’s a place for both consumers and winemakers to find out everything about a particular wine, along with videos of the respective wineries - which also show the process of wine making.
So I wasn’t always a tech person, well now I am sort of, but it wasn’t always like that. When 19Crimes came out, I admired the concept and thought that this is what I want to build, but take that idea and expand it.
We’re a people connecting company, so we are trying to get the world of wine to the US with tech - and this is the first thing that popped in my mind after the launch of 19crimes.
It took Blair and I talking with Mickey to really understand what this idea could be. He opened up a world for us we didn’t realize was there.
I wasn’t a tech person at all, so I didn’t know much about how to take things forward. Lucky for me, my best friend’s brother was, and is in the tech industry. So I approached him with a lot of ideas. I had a lot of ideas, so we spoke, and decided to merge tech and wine.
So we travel a lot for our importing business - most of our trips are to Spain and South Africa. Once this idea was brought up, I started moving around with my camera crew. So we would go to wineries in Spain, South Africa, and California with all our camera equipment; and we’d film the wineries and their processes - take them back home and start working on the content for them.
We initially started with the wine and wineries that we imported ourselves before adding other wines and wineries to our database.
A couple of my friends had wineries for which we had started doing this for free. They saw it, and told me that hey, people would actually pay for this. Because in one sense, it is marketing for the winery and its’ products. And it also adds to the consumer experience, so once we had good feedback, it was definitely a go for it.
One of the main challenges that we faced was prioritising what to get done vs. what you think you need to get done. There are so many things you want to do, yet you forget that there’s so much that needs to be done before any new ideas are added.
On the technical side, we faced challenges with building the app in the first place. Our main goal was to make the app user friendly - so unless my mom can’t use it without struggle, it’s not done yet. So we had to go back and forth to figure out what works and what doesn’t. We first launched just as a link on the phone, and that definitely wasn’t the most user friendly way to do things.
In all and all, modelling the app to make it consumer friendly took a long time since we wanted to make it as simple as possible.
So currently we have 12 wineries with us who are in our database and by the end of the year we will reach 21 - so that’s something we’re looking forward to.
Another thing we’re looking forward to is advertising. So we haven’t started advertising yet as we are redoing the app to make it completely simple and user friendly, and well adding more wineries to our database. So once that is done then we’ll go into full mode of digital advertising as well.
We also conducted a virtual wine tasting dinner – in which we performed wine tasting from headsets in Manhattan, Kansas, and have more on the books. Although the App is very interesting to talk about and will be a great tool, we are equally if not more excited by the Virtual Reality aspect and will have a big focus on that upcoming.
Being able to offer wineries a way to improve their brand presence and bring their consumers to their winery no matter where they are in the world, using Virtual Reality, will not only help build brand equity for them, but will ultimately create more sales. Anything to deepen consumer education, consumer experience, and bring people together is what we are about. We just happen to be using tech to do it.
On a business perspective, I think all businesses will have to indulge into technology to make it easier for both them and their consumers. If businesses don’t include advanced technology such as Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality in the next 5-10 years, then they’ll surely be left out.
On the consumer perspective, things might be a little slower. This is simply because there’s so much technology that came out 4-5 years ago and just now got to the consumers. So of course technology will be increasing no matter what, but it will be faster on the business side of things.