We’re guessing that the Germans were too busy creating mutating robots to come up with this one: a team of university students in the UK have developed a beer-coaster-plus-interactive-bar that is designed to help bar goers break the ice.
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According to the Guardian, the system works like this: when a patron puts down their glass on the coaster, a lighted ring is projected around the coaster (blue for men, pink for women a second tap with the glass changes the color/gender)from under the bar – which we’re guessing has to be glass in that case. Patrons can move their coasters/selves around on the bar until they’re within 60cm (about two feet) of another coaster. Then the fun begins: the current system then projects a ticker-tape kind of message between the coasters. The message? Random – and cheesy – pick up lines.
Because cheesy pickup lines just are that much better when a coaster says them right? Here’s a couple:
- Do you come here often?
- Is your dad a thief? Because he stole the stars and put them in your eyes.
- If I had a chance to rearrange the alphabet, I would put U and I together.
- Are you a parking ticket? Because you’ve got ‘fine’ written all over you.
Thankfully for all the lonely people out there, eventually the system should let people input their own cheesy lines.
Tom Bartindale, one of the developers at Newcastle University, was quoted as saying:
It’s a twist on meeting new people in a public space. Many of us feel quite self-conscious about starting a conversation with a stranger but our mat makes that first move and also provides a talking point…In general, technology tends to kill conversation and trigger quite antisocial behavior – we bury ourselves in our text messaging, iPods or computer screens and never even look up to see who’s standing next to us. The focus of our work is to use technology to encourage interaction and relationships. We want these very public text messages to break the ice and make people laugh.
The first installation of this system will actually be shown tonight (December 2) in Newcastle. No word yet on whether you’ll be able to bring these home with you to start a smart-cheesy-pick-up-line-coaster collection.