Friday, March 10, 2006

Absence makes the glass glow fondly

LONDON (Reuters) - Researchers have come up with a novel way to keep long-distance lovers in touch -- high-tech wine glasses that glow warmly however far apart the pining couple are.

When either person picks up a glass, red light-emitting diodes glow on their partner's glass. When one puts a glass to their lips, the other glass glows brightly.

Distance is not a problem as liquid sensors and wireless links have been built in to the glasses.

Jackie Lee and Hyemin Chung, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's media lab in Boston, said communal drinking is a vital part of social interaction that lovebirds miss out on when separated.

Lee, whose findings were reported in New Scientist magazine Wednesday, said the wireless glasses really do "help people feel as if they were sharing a drinking experience together."

The loving cups are to be unveiled next month at a conference in Montreal on computer-human interaction.

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