Feeds

Heard the one about the Cyber-Pub?

Futurologists set their sights on drinking dens

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Futurologists are predicting that wireless technology could soon make its way into that most hallowed of journalistic haunts: the Pub.

UK tabloid, The Sun has been running a series of crystal-ball-gazing features, trying to work out what life will be like in ten or twenty years time. According to the paper, the days of smoky, dark dens of drinking are numbered, and the news is bad.

There will be virtual bar staff, ordering your drinks from a console at your table or from a WAP phone. Then, perhaps most horrifyingly, there will be virtual karaoke duets with the original stars, in hologram form of course.

And it gets sillier.

The feature is illustrated with an impression of what this cyber bar might look like. Drinks are being served by a robot which, the caption says, will "look directly into your eyes, calculate exactly what you want to drink, pour it and add it to your bill."

Even if you willingly suspend your disbelief for long enough to cope with psychic robots, can you think of a worse place to set up a large amount of expensive technology that in a venue specifically designed for people to consume vast quantities of alcohol. Neither could we.

However, some people seem to be taking the idea rather more seriously.

Apparently Whitbread pubs have already started to install tabletop computers for customers to use to order drinks, and in Norway there is a system where prices fluctuate according to demand, much like the stock market.

And it seems you will not even be safe when nursing a hangover. Microsoft and Starbucks have signed a deal today that will see net access points in Starbucks coffee shops, connected via MobileStar Network's wireless network.

The companies said that customers would be able to access local information about arts and entertainment, or go shopping from the terminals.

The consensus at Vulture Central is that what a pub should have is beams, smoke and ale. None of this cyber nonsense. When informed of the existence of cyber pubs, one reporter became quite distraught and had to be sedated.

He recovered however when he heard about electronically ordered e-Ale. "What a combination," he said. "Where can I get some?" ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Bitcasa bins $10-a-month Infinite storage offer
Firm cites 'low demand' plus 'abusers'
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Pssst. Want to buy a timeshare in the clouds?
The Google dilemma — controller or spreader of knowledge?
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.