An intelligent beermat that alerts the bartender that your glass is empty could feature in pubs of the future.
Like an ordinary mat, it absorbs drips; but the gadget also has hidden sensors.
The device will detect the weight of the drink above it, working out how much is left before sending a signal to the bar for a refill.
When drinks are low, a blinking light at the bar could let the waiter know to check that table for a top-up.Ahh, the future of bars looks bright: Beer Mats and, coming soon (hopefully), no smoke!
Because the mat can also sense being picked up and flapped around, customers can signal an order - with the urgency judged by the speed it is moved.
Another feature is that drinkers can say how many drinks they would like to order by stacking of a number of mats in one hand.