Having solved all other problems in the world, the researchers at Boston's MIT have come up with a solution to the problems faced by long-distance lovers. From New Scientist:
Could glowing, Wi-Fi wine glasses let people in long-distance relationships feel more in touch with their other half? Don't scoff: researchers in Boston at MIT's Media Lab - that citadel of outside-the-box thinking - believe so. When you and your partner both raise the high-tech glasses they will glow warmly, no matter how far apart you are. The idea is to give the feeling of a shared drinking experience.You have no idea how long I've been waiting for this.
Jackie Lee and Hyemin Chung, experts in human-computer interaction, say that communal drinking is an important social interaction that helps bind friendships and relationships, but this is of course denied to people separated by geography. To give such lovebirds a chance to recreate some of the intimacy of sharing a drink, Lee and Chung have incorporated a variety of coloured LEDs, liquid sensors and wireless (GPRS or Wi-Fi) links into a pair of glass tumblers.
When either person picks up a glass, red LEDs on their partner's glass glow gently. And when either puts the glass to their lips, sensors make white LEDs on the rim of the other glass glow brightly, so you can tell when your other half takes a sip. Following tests in separate labs, Lee says the wireless glasses really do "help people feel as if they are sharing a drinking experience together".So, does that mean if one party in a relationship uses a different glass that they're cheating on the other?
Lee and Chung said the glowing glasses could also be used to monitor patients or the elderly to ensure they are consuming water. That would be similar to this being described as a medication to reduce blood pressure.
The vessels have been dubbed "Lovers' cups" and will be unveiled at a conference in Montreal in April.
I am having difficulty controlling my joy.