Science News

A Never Emptying Glass…

Sat, 13th Apr 2002

Part of the show Police Use of Science to Solve Crimes - Naked Scientists

Researcher Paul Dietz at Mitsubishi in Cambridge, US, have developed a drinking glass that automatically signals to barstaff when it needs a refill ! The iGlassware system uses en elctronic tag containing a microchip connected to a radio transmitter. The tags, which are supposedly dishwasher proof, work by measuring the capacitance of the glass - in other words how much electrical charge it stores. The more drink there is in the glass, the more charge it stores. When the glass is empty the chip detects the drop in stored charge and signals to the waiters, who carry palm-top devices, to supply a top up ! Apparently there is a genuine need for a system like this since 'glasses not being kept topped up is a major source of diners' complaints', said Richard Cole of Delaware University, US.

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