Feeds

RFID drives the self-service pub

An application for wireless we can all appreciate

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The Cheeky bar, in Georgia USA, now has a self-service bar known as the "wall of beer" where patrons can help themselves to a drink with the wave of a card.

The card is simply an RFID tag which identifies the buyer, but the system measures the amount of alcohol poured as well as requiring each drinker to prove their sobriety to the barman every 64 ounces (three pints or so). The great thing is flexibility, as RFID Journal explains, but one can't help wondering if it's a troubling trend too.

Customer pouring their own beer

She's pouring her own beer, but there'll be no barman handy to light her cigarette

The fluid control system is supplied by DraftServ, and is an evolution from tabletop systems which have been around for a while. Such systems deliver a specific beer, in measured quantities, to a party's table, but they also require pipes laid under the floor, and limit the options once at the table.

The "wall of beer" approach allows drinkers to select their beer, and even try a small glass of something different, with all the costs totted up for payment at the end of the evening. Users can pour themselves any quantity of drink, though they have to demonstrate that they're not drunk every three pints or so.

In use it seems that users often pour themselves smaller drinks, to avoid the lager getting warm or going flat, but that they drink more overall, which is good news for the bar. Most importantly it means fewer bar staff, as the customers serve themselves.

Pulling a pint of proper beer is, of course, more complicated. British beer doesn't lend itself to electronic measuring or pumping and it's hard to imagine a row of gravity pumps along side an RFID card reader, not to mention that an RFID reader won't pretend to be interested in one's problems.

It was once inconceivable that we'd have to fill our own cars with petrol, but we got used to it surprisingly quickly, perhaps we'll get used to the lack of bar staff with equal celerity. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.