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US: Smart glasses request refills

A new invention, the “smart glass,” tips off the bartender or waiter when it needs to be filled. Restaurants and bars have already been reported as having expressed interest in the high-tech glassware…

A new invention, the “smart glass,” tips off the bartender or waiter when it needs to be filled. Restaurants and bars have already been reported as having expressed interest in the high-tech glassware. Paul Dietz, whose team at the Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories in Massachusetts developed the iGlassware system said the smart glasses would be on the market “in the near future.” The circuitry in a prototype costs no more than a can of Coke, making it affordable for most establishments. The smart glasses are wrapped in a dishwasher-safe conductive material similar to the tagging technology used to protect retailers against shoplifters. In the base is a microchip linked to a tiny radio transmitter. The glasses detect when their contents dip below a preset level, then send a signal that a refill is needed. A coil embedded in the tabletop provides power to the glass and passes on the refill signal. The signal, which includes a unique digital code identifying the glass, can be picked up by a receiving station at the bar or by wireless devices carried by the wait staff.

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