Bottomless beer mug?

Scientists develop glass that signals when it needs more beer

Apr 4, 2002 - A team of scientists in Cambridge, Mass., have developed a glassware system that signals when you are ready for a refill. When empty, the glass sends an electronic cry for more beer, New Scientist magazine reported Thursday.


The iGlassware system from Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories tags each glass electronically with a microchip linked to a thin radio-frequency coil inside its dishwasher-safe base. A coating of a clear, conducting material makes the glass behave like a capacitor, allowing it to measure how much you have drunk.

That information is transmitted to a receiver in your table. From the receiver coil, information can be sent back to palmtop devices carried by waiters or to a display behind the bar in a pub.

Ronald Cole, an expert in hotel and restaurant management at the University of Delaware, said the system could prove valuable in restaurants. Diners like to have their glasses kept topped up, he said, and the technology addresses one of their "pet peeves."