Monday, October 03, 2005
If not cure, surely distract us from them!
Smart beer mat orders refills
A beer mat that knows when a glass is nearly empty and automatically asks for a refill has been created by thirsty researchers in Germany.
Andreas Butz at the University of Munich and Michael Schmitz from Saarland University came up with the idea while out drinking with their students.
The mat ... contains a pressure sensor and radio transmitter to alert bar staff of the need for a refill...
They say the mat could also be used for interactive TV events, as it contains an accelerometer capable of sensing when it is being waved in the air.
"I've been discussing this with a friend of mine who is an expert pub goer," Butz told New Scientist. "He mentioned that the pay-TV companies who broadcast soccer games are desperately looking for ways to make TV an interactive experience. Betting on actual sports events with the mat could add such interactivity."
The researchers believe the smart mat could even be used in pub games: "One important direction which needs further investigation is the large body of drinking games which has developed in certain cultures and how they can be supported using our beer mat." [New Scientist, hat tip Roland Patrick]