One of the most annoying experiences when being served at a restaurant is when you have to wave your arm around and hope to get the attention of your waiter. We're asking the question: is this really necessary?
What it does
Our product is a smart coaster, which lets you communicate with your waiter without the hassle of having to flail your arms around and hope. Instead your glass will communicate with the waiters smartphone to tell them how full your glass is, so that they can provide refilling whenever you need it. But even when your glass isn't empty, you can notify your waiter that you need their attention, by simply pressing your glass into the coaster. You will see that a notification has been sent, because the coaster has LEDs embedded into it, which will show you how long you need to press the coaster to call the waiter. This will enable the waiters to know which table needs their attention.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
One of the biggest challenges was getting the hardware we needed to complete the project. On the one hand we needed the outer shell of the coaster, which not only needed to be robust enough to withstand a drink standing on top of it. On the other hand we needed to get a pressure-detecting-sensor. We tried to get our hands on a sensor at a shop in an inner-city shop, only to be told that that sensor is not in stock anymore (even though their website told us otherwise).
What's next for Auf den Deckel
One future possibility is the enabling of an RFID reader within the coaster. This would make it possible for the coaster to notice what drinks you've had over the weekend and would make it possible to give your customers cards they can swipe over their coaster to pay.