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Hi-Tech Beer Coasters?

October 7, 2005

Did anyone spot this on Reuters? Another wonderful and useful example of German efficiency and the fact that they take good beer very seriously.


BERLIN (Reuters) - Fans of non-stop drinking may soon be able to cut down on time wasted ordering refills, thanks to a beer coaster that can tell when a glass is empty.

The coaster, fitted with sensors, measures the weight of the beer and sends a signal behind the bar when it's time for a refill.

Anxious drinkers can also attract the attention of staff by waving the plastic mat, thanks to a motion sensor.

It was invented by students Matthias Hahnen and Robert Doerr for a project at the University of Saarbruecken in southwest Germany.

The device has attracted the attention of beer vendors in North America, including a leading Canadian brewer, according to Michael Schmitz, one of the supervisors of the project.

"They wanted to know if they could use it or make it themselves," he said. "The prototype cost about 84 euros to make one but if mass produced, it could be done for around 10 euros."

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