British taverns move to embrace the space-age

The good old British pub is about to get a technological make-over

Beer enthusiasts will soon be able to order a bevvy by email if trials by British brewery Whitbread are a success.

The trials, which are well underway, could allow drinkers to customise their favourite taverns as well as play inter-pub computer game tournaments. Terminals will enable boozers to alter the lighting and music in a bar, order drinks and even book a restaurant or a hotel room over the Internet. Whitbread says it will also install computer games, allowing drinkers in different pubs to play against each other.

Whitbread is already trialling Internet connected games machines in 150 of its pubs and says that, though its vision of the pub of the future might be some way off, it intends to be delighting drinkers with this dizzying technology in the not too distant future.

"The technology already exists," says a Whitbread spokesman. "The Internet has opened up a whole world of possibilities and every business is looking at how it can change their customer's experience. It's state of the art stuff, but it's already happening."

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