Two students at the University in Saarbruecken in Southwest Germany, have created a coaster that senses when your beer or beverage is ready for a refill. The coaster like device simply measures the weight of the beer and sends a signal to the bartender’s computer once it’s drawing close to empty. The chip embedded coasters can also sense whether the beer has been raised up or flipped over, acting as a sort of voting system during competitions or band performances. If someone doesn’t like the band, they flip their glass over. If they approve they raise their glass as if to cheer. What happens if you are sipping the beer at the time of voting – well the voting will then be skewed in favor.
All these devices that are meant to simplify our lives unfortunately sometimes make them more complicated. What makes a bartender a good bartender is their ability to read a patron’s body language and determine their need. This coaster sensing device could lead to a systematic serving system that in the end result bothers the customer more then it helps. If I was tending bar and saw a 100 red blimps on my screen forewarning me of ‘drained’ beers, I might get overwhelmed and lose my ability to prioritize customers based on their drinking habits and ability to consume certain quantities of alcohol.
In theory it’s a good idea, but when actually applied it may cause more headaches and hangovers then its worth.
If the wheel, or the coaster in this case, ain’t broke; don’t fix it.