You’ll start seeing these $5,000 computer-equipped tables at upscale bars (and, especially, Vegas) in the near future. Called Microsoft Surface tables, they’re nifty novelties with so-far questionable utility: Most applications I’ve seen for it focus on time-wasting games for bored people and trying to get you to buy music for the Zune MP3 player that you don’t have.
Now it looks like the bars will be getting a way to try to recoup some of that five grand, by using the tables to do some real work: Getting their customers to drink more. Check out the video below to see the table’s “level sensing glassware research,” in which a light beam measures how much liquid is left in your glass and alerts a waiter at just the right moment when you’re most likely to order a refill… when the glass is almost, but not completely, empty.
Better yet: Forget the waiter! Surface can sell you a refill right there on the spot! Now all we need is hydraulic spigots that rise from the table and refresh your martini without us pathetic humans to intervene at all.