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Drink counting glass

Image credit: https://media.takealot.com/covers/29543300/cappuccino_glasses-pdpxl.jpg

Spook Louw
Spook Louw Jul 17, 2021
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The idea is to create a glass that can keep count of the number of drinks you have consumed with that specific glass.

There are two possible approaches to the mechanics of such a glass that I can think of.
  1. It could simply have a clicker installed on the glass, so every time you fill the glass you simply press the button and it adds one to your total count. This would be the easiest way to do it and it would also allow for different buttons to be designated to different types of drinks. Water/cooldrink/soda/beer/hard liquor could all have their own separate buttons and counts.
  2. The second option might be more difficult to design, but personally, I think it would be cooler because the counts would be automatic. It would require us to design a glass with a compartment within the glass that would essentially rely on a float switch, similar to that found in a fuel gauge. When liquid is poured into a glass the float switch would rise to the top of the compartment and as soon as the glass is empty it will hit the bottom, triggering the counter to add one.

A glass like this can help you keep track of your hydration, or your alcohol intake. While doing research for this I came upon the counting bottle opener which serves the same purpose but is limited to bottles, whereas this glass could potentially keep track of any type of drink.

Another possible feature would be to design the counter similar to a car's odometer allowing it to count the total amount of drinks that have been had in that glass, as well as the number since the last time you refreshed the count, meaning that you would be able to check your nightly intake aswell as the all time intake.

One potential problem I see with the second approach is that it would need to be able to be paused to allow you to wash the glass.
Creative contributions

A brand of specialized Bluetooth-compatible glasses

Povilas S
Povilas S Jul 17, 2021
An alternative to a personal portable counter could be a brand of massed-produced glasses/cups (a company could be started around this) with the liquid counting function installed in each of their vessels. If the brand/concept became popular such glasses/cups would be distributed almost everywhere, in most of the bars/cafes as well as present in people's homes. Coming to a public dining place you could specifically ask for your drink to be served in such a vessel. A vessel would then send the information through Bluetooth to a designated app on a user's phone to keep the personal record.
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A counter to use with any glass or cup

Povilas S
Povilas S Jul 17, 2021
The main disadvantage of having a glass that counts the drinks is that If you want to count your daily liquid intake accurately, you'd have to always use only that one glass and carry it around everywhere. People consume a lot of drinks in various cafeterias, bars, etc., so this would be very uncomfortable to count the drinks you had while dining out somewhere. That's why even the counter in a bottle opener form beats such glass in that sense - you can use it on any bear bottle anywhere. But then it's limited to only beer or wine bottles, etc. So it would be best to invent a counter which you could carry around without much hassle and count the drinks with it either manually or automatically.

One thing that comes to my mind is a ring. I'm not sure how feasible this would be to do on a technical level, but with such a ring you could potentially scan the liquid in the glass by simply moving your hand up and down the glass (the ring would count the volume of the liquid inside the glass/bottle), then when you finished drinking you could tap on the glass three times and it would be the sign for the ring to register that volume of liquid as already consumed. The ring could potentially detect the type of the liquid automatically or alternatively, the user could indicate it through a paired app.
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AI-powered counter

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jul 17, 2021
If you always drink at the same location (kitchen), there could be a camera connected to AI-powered software that can do the counting and even consulting:)

It can recognize different people and tailor the responses to each.
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Spook Louw
Spook Louw3 years ago
I was also thinking of using the same technology used in step counters, the computer would then essentially count sips every time the glass moves in a certain way. But it would ultimately be less accurate as the size of your sips could vary and if you are moving around at a party holding your glass it could easily confuse the count.
I think the most accurate results would have to be obtained mechanically.
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Glass that automatically tracks drink consumption, scans your drink to detect potency, contra-indications and date rape drugs, and optionally an app alerts you of concerns and problematic patterns

salemandreus Jul 21, 2021
To be most useful we'd want minimal manual input from the user during the actual night out - I have a hard enough time logging my taken medications on Medisafe, and it could be risky expecting an intoxicated user to remember if they already clicked a button to mark a drink as taken or not, potentially clicking it twice or not at all and forgetting if they were supposed to click before or after a drink, or they might bump the button while holding their drink and socialising. Hence tracking the drink consumption without assistance would be ideal. I think expecting an inebriated person to be making any calculations would run contrary to the design purpose and also the user profile, which would specifically be people who like drinking and don't like keeping track of drinks when out to have a fun time or people who fear they can't remember how much they have had while intoxicated and can’t be sure of the effects on them.

It would also be ideal to have a way to identify and distinguish different types of drinks and their alcohol potency (basically hardware that can scan the drink).
It would then can then search some central database (or the internet in general) to identify your drink based on ingredients).

In this way it would not rely on the drinker to be cognisant of the different types of drink they are consuming but could make its own calculations.
As extra features, since we'd have this scanning and searching ability, this could potentially also detect date rape drugs and sound an alarm (with haptic feedback and warning lights if in loud bar environments) if your drink has been compromised.

The technology for tracking and alerting you of your drink consumption exists in the form of a smart water bottle for tracking your hydration needs and water consumption
, using very sensitive sensors at the base which can even tell the difference between your drinking vs spilling water.
This existing design could be adapted to a glass (probably easiest to start design on some kind of tumbler, although it could also come in wineglass varieties, with the sensor then likely embedded in the bowl of the glass itself rather than the stem or base, for accuracy of consumption tracking and easier drink scanning).

Perhaps when you have had enough it could give haptic feedback or flash an unobtrusive red, amber or green light on the glass depending on if you have had too much. Your body mass and other factors could have been configured via a syncing app beforehand.
Another benefit of this scanning and utilisation of an app could be the ability to also have this sync with your medication-tracking and apps tell you if any medication you have taken recently or chronic medication you are on could contra-indicate with what you are drinking, as is frequently a concern with alcohol.

It would be ideal if the glass itself was sturdily built but also collapsible or compressible, particularly as it is being transported potentially in a handbag or pocket, so traditional glass as a material would be out due to it being dangerous, but building collapsible glasses in a hardy material (possibly gorilla glass if one is not a fan of plastic?) or even foldable silicon could make it easily and safely transportable, and being translucent, could also make it easier to hide the tech itself if that is desired, although making it a visible feature could still be done stylishly.

Some limitations are that it currently cannot take very hot or cold liquids, so ice would be a problem, especially if the ice is put in first.
Potentially it could even sync with the app to track your historical consumption and give you insights as to your drinking patterns when you are sober, so you could better plan your budget for an evening out, or identify whether you have a drinking problem.

If we want the app to be more interactive and not only for preconfiguring, it could also give you on-screen information about the drink in your glass once identified and potential advice, to help you be informed on your consumption in the moment, so that you can consciously slow down when you're confronted with the actual potency and potential effects of your drink on screen. Warnings could also be displayed if previous drinks could also interfere.

Ideally, this app could also integrate with other apps such as your location, to pop up remind you that you are not in a safe condition to drive and to order a cab before your battery gets low, potentially integrating with apps like Uber, to also reduce the risk of your being tempted to get a lift with a drunk driver.

Very often the biggest affector of people getting drunk is the shots they take in between drinks, thus the ability to track shots would be essential for many people.
Having a spare glass, or actual smart shot glass would be advised if you are partial to shots, as your main glass would likely be occupied by a drink since shot-buyers seldom wait for you to finish your main drink before buying a round of shots.
Designing a smart shot glass might be harder to do due to size constraints for the hardware, also harder for a drunk person to keep track of which one is theirs unless it is a different colour (which may make it a target for stealing since many people seem to steal novelty glasses from bars).
Also the custom of slamming a shot glass down on the table after knocking back a drink would likely damage the sensitive sensors at the base unless there's some specially designed cushioning there.
On the other hand, we would likely not run the risk of people putting ice into a shot glass (though icy cold drinks may still be a risk) so we could possibly trade off temperature protection for protective cushioning at the base in terms of space constraints of the tech.
Or possibly you just carry around a spare smart tumbler, and when someone buys you a shot, do the slightly uncool thing of transferring it to your tumbler - something best done while wearing an old cloak and cosplaying as Mad-eye Moody while eyeing people around you suspiciously. 😉
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Spook Louw
Spook Louw3 years ago
That Smart Water Bottle looks very cool, thank you! The idea started off as a way to measure water intake and I changed it a bit towards alcohol consumption, the water bottle would've been perfect for the original idea.
Also, I agree, automated counting would be best, but I think you could get away with a manual "clicker" as anyone using the project would be someone trying to monitor their intake, if they are serious about it they may focus on remembering to track their drinks, but yes, an automated count would 100% be the ideal.

Collapsible glasses would go a long way to solving the problem of it being inconvenient to carry the special glass with you. Perhaps it could have a telescopic design where it just slides into itself. Maybe it could even be designed to serve as a large shot glass, tumbler and zombie, all in one, depending on how far you extend it.

Having the app interact with other apps would also be great (Perhaps it could even lock certain apps like eBay after you've had a certain amount to drink). Combining the glass with an app would also be a good way for you to set up a "drinking budget", where you decide beforehand how many drinks you want to have and the app tells you when you have reached that (although, I'm not sure if anyone would really listen to an app, but as I mentioned before, the users of this product would theoretically be people trying to control their drinking so possibly.)

The temperature could be a problem because even drinks like shots or beer that does not contain ice are usually served ice cold.
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salemandreus3 years ago
Spook Louw thanks for the comment! Really great points/feedback!

Hmm I think we can iterate on the tracking mechanism. One option is just ensuring that there's feedback when a drink is detected and the person can confirm their consumption via the app. On the one hand this may be annoying for a regular user, but this might actually perfectly fit the profile of someone actively watching their drinking consumption, with the detection mechanism serving as an indicator of when the app should actively remind them of their consumption - notifying how much they are consuming and how fast and prompting them once the glass is empty or near empty to consider taking a break from alcohol over the next hour and switch to something else (perhaps offering specific suggestions to mitigate negative effects such as recommending snacks containing certain ingredients if they have not had any for a while) or for their next drink to get something below a certain percentage and quantity over a certain time period.

Thus we can get the best of both worlds where the tracking mechanism serves its awareness/reminder purpose in that the automated side detects effectively but manual user input can be prompted too through a button click or app prompt. Perhaps the user could be prompted to solve equations or tested on how well they respond and react to certain things in an in-app quiz/game which can help assess how cognisant they are.

Also people like me with a tendency to mistrust the efficacy of tech that does not give explicit feedback to confirm that it is working would likely appreciate the manual approval after the automatic detection to inspire confidence that this app and detection mechanism is actually working!

Perhaps a nice indicator that it IS working would be a graphic of a glass on the screen which gradually empties as you drink, even illustrating when a spillage has occurred!

This way you can yourself determine its accuracy! Presumably the app would be training itself to your movements through machine learning and would start off less accurate until more data is gathered, so feedback on the actual readings would be ideal for helping the user know whether they should be cautious in correcting for the app's potential error margin in detecting drinking or spillages near the beginning.
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salemandreus3 years ago
Spook Louw I like that idea of locking certain apps or disabling certain functionality while drunk, similarly to prompting one to take a cab. I'm seeing a lot of possibilities for app integrations.

For example, Google's Trusted Contacts app could show a loved one's live location as well as how much battery power they had on their phone as a way to ensure that certain people always know where you are if they send a location request (notifying you they did so), or even at all times if you prefer to set that setting for a partner etc.

You can also actively send an alert to contacts with your location through a single button press. Even if their battery dies, that data of when and where they were last seen and how long ago stays on the map. Although that app is no longer supported, the location requesting/perma-sharing functionality has now been integrated into Google Maps (not sure if it still shows their battery level though).

From the original Trusted Contacts app, I was able to help out a friend who was stranded at night in a bad area due to seeing immediately that his battery was on 3% and therefore knowing to arrive ASAP and bring a power bank. The app provided that crucial data and alert without us having to drain the battery on a phonecall explaining his situation and location.

Being able to integrate our app's data with something like that old Trusted Contacts app or perhaps Google Maps would be great because then a trusted contact could tell immediately your location and battery level and also if you are also above the legal limit to drive and potentially severely or dangerously intoxicated.
They might be able to surmise whether you are in likely danger based on this and factors like the area and time and to check in with people with you or try to call you. You could contact your trusted contacts with one button press alert, they could be prompted "offer to get them an uber?" and the person can accept a prompt their side (possibly being required to type a short message of even one letter just to ensure they didn't accept the popup accidentally) which directs to the Uber app where either person can specify the locations for the sponsored ride. Thus in minimal interactions (important for a drunk person who may even need medical assistance) and with minimal time and battery wasting the necessary action is taken and the person's way home, etc is secured.

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A simple DIY approach - use wine glass markers

Michaela D
Michaela D Oct 14, 2021
Wine glass markers are silicon markers that can be placed on the rim or the stem of a wine glass (Image above). A set comes with different colors and their main purpose is to distinguish the glasses of different people at parties for example (each person uses a different color marker on their glass).
An adaptation of this system would be to track how much water/wine/anything you drink by changing the position of the markers. For example, for every time you empty your glass you move the tracker from the rim to the stem, or from the top of the stem to its bottom. You could even do that with beer glasses by moving the markers from the top to the bottom of the handle.
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General comments

jnikola3 years ago
I did some research and I found these:
- TrackCup (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/trackcup-a-smart-drinking-glass#/) - a cool idea that raised $285,000 USD on KickStarter, but I couldn't find information if they succeed to enter the production phase. They planned to integrate a thermometer, pressure sensor to determine the amount of water you drank, GPS, Bluetooth, chemical detection sensor to track the quality of water you drink and more.
- Vessyl (https://www.theverge.com/2014/6/12/5801106/vessyl-smart-cup-that-knows-exactly-what-youre-drinking, https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=80&v=lu4ukHmXKFU&feature=emb_logo) - similar cup as above, but recognizes different types of drinks, strong or weak coffee, etc. It can even measure the sugar, protein, calories, fat, and caffeine inside any beverage you pour into it, mass-produced or homemade. It costs $99.
Maybe these examples could help us find something that has yet not been implemented into the cup, or to fine-tune the product/marketing strategy.
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