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Hardware Technology

Concept Computer Based on a Tea Cup Design 166

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the new-hot-coffee-mod-on-the-way dept.
webarnold writes "A new concept computer is being designed to look like a tea cup. Using holographic projectors, view your data inside the cup, 'spilled' onto the table, or transfer it to other Cup PC users by pouring data into their cup." Acceptance of something like this seems a bit far-fetched given current tech, but no nomad-space comparisons are being made.
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Concept Computer Based on a Tea Cup Design

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  • by BigGar' (411008) on Friday April 04, 2008 @04:04PM (#22967236) Homepage
    Douglas Adams would be proud.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    OMG!!! Ponies!
  • by Frigid Monkey (411257) on Friday April 04, 2008 @04:05PM (#22967254) Homepage Journal
    ...the athletic cup computer design.

    Sharing data has never been more fun!
  • Oops? (Score:5, Funny)

    by baudilus (665036) on Friday April 04, 2008 @04:07PM (#22967270)
    This is the killer business plan.

    1. Hey Mary, check out this spreadsheet!
    2. *Spill coffee on Mary's lap*
    3. !#%^&&%!$!#
    4. ????
    5. Profit!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 04, 2008 @04:10PM (#22967288)
    Because proper tea cannot be owned.
  • by imstanny (722685) on Friday April 04, 2008 @04:11PM (#22967304)
    Great. I can finaly call tech support saying, "we've got a tea bag situation here..." and not get in trouble.
  • Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike a PC.

    reference [wikipedia.org]
  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Friday April 04, 2008 @04:11PM (#22967310) Homepage Journal
    So it's talking about a piece of hardware we can't even build (last time I shopped for holographic projectors that can be embedded in a ceramic cup they were hard to find) that has a user interface nobody would want (how do you choose what data is transfered?) on a product that will never be built. Sounds like a real winner of a story. I guess it employed some graphic artist for like half a day, so that's something.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by CogDissident (951207)
      Oh it gets better. The Sci-fi channel owns the site. Its not even news, its a Sci-fi article.
    • by nbauman (624611) on Friday April 04, 2008 @05:23PM (#22968124) Homepage Journal
      I am sorely disappointed by the negative responses to this article.

      Is this Slashdot? You sound like a bunch of klutzes who wouldn't know how to get into their cars if they locked the keys inside. Who wouldn't know how to fix their glasses if the frames broke.

      It's called a concept. Ed Land, the founder of Polaroid, gave his engineers a block of wood small enough to fit into a back pocket, and told them to build an instant camera that size. And they didn't whine about how the technology wasn't ready for it, they built it! And that camera revolutionized p0rn.

      If you can't build a holographic projector inside a teacup with $50 worth of parts, get out of the way for somebody who can.
      • This isn't.

        It's not that we don't have the technology -- that's only part of it. It's that we don't have the technology, and it's a retarded idea in the first place.

        How do I choose what data is "poured"? And once I do so, why do I have to actually watch it being poured? Why is "spilling" better than simply pushing a button on a projector? It looks like a portable holographic multitouch interface, which is very cool -- but WTF is with the coffee concept?

        This is more like Ed Land giving his engineers a baseba
  • I said give the tea to Jackson Roykirk! Jackson Roykirk you half-brained silicon tard-bucket!

    Ster-il-ize

    Ster-il-ize

  • MOM! (Score:5, Funny)

    by bigattichouse (527527) on Friday April 04, 2008 @04:12PM (#22967320) Homepage
    What do you mean you cleaned the kitchen! That was my doctoral thesis! ARG!
  • by Qwell (684661) on Friday April 04, 2008 @04:13PM (#22967342)
    ...it's not really my cup of tea - if you know what I mean.
  • by Toe, The (545098) on Friday April 04, 2008 @04:13PM (#22967346)
    Just what the average computer user needs: something that will encourage and beckon them to pour liquid into their computer.

    Try telling me that's not gonna happen.
  • Seriously, who comes up with ideas like this? And more importantly, why are those people allowed to have internet access?
    • by g0dsp33d (849253)
      I agree, besides, everyone knows the future of computing is tables, and portable tables with folding legs.
      • by Molochi (555357)
        Wait, I thought it was "a big ass table with pictures of other people's kids all over it".
  • must be the reason Starbucks won't let me have more than 4 shots of espresso at once.
  • by pwnies (1034518) * <j@jjcm.org> on Friday April 04, 2008 @04:16PM (#22967388) Homepage Journal
    Tech Support: Hi welcome to Cup Tech support, how can we assist you today? Luser: Yea my cup won't turn on. Tech Support: Is it fully charged sir? Luser: Yea its in the charging station right now. The ring around it is all red. Tech Support: K, I'm going to need you to bring up the diagnostic screen, it's the touch button at the bottom of the cup on the inside. Luser: Um... I can't reach there right now... Tech Support: Uhhhh may I ask why? Luser: Well the coffee in it is too hot and I'd burn my hand. Tech Support: ...Sir... you can't put coffee in your computer. Luser: It's ok, I didn't put any sugar in it so it wont get sticky or anything. Tech Support: No sir, you computer is broken. Go take it in to get it repaired. Luser: WHAT? Etc, etc.
    • by pwnies (1034518) *
      Let's try that again with formatting!
      Tech Support: Hi welcome to Cup Tech support, how can we assist you today?
      Luser: Yea my cup won't turn on.
      Tech Support: Is it fully charged sir?
      Luser: Yea its in the charging station right now. The ring around it is all red.
      Tech Support: K, I'm going to need you to bring up the diagnostic screen, it's the touch button at the bottom of the cup on the inside.
      Luser: Um... I can't reach there right now...
      Tech Support: Uhhhh may I ask why?
      Luser: Well the coffee in it
  • by Orleron (835910) on Friday April 04, 2008 @04:16PM (#22967390) Homepage
    ... I didn't mean to spill my porn all over your dress.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    All they have is poorly conceived "artist renderings" of how such a thing MIGHT work. I thought part of being high tech meant that it was real in some way. DNF must be uber-high-tech, then!

    Besides, I fail to see how such thing could be remotely useful on a day-to-day basis. Fact is, most of the things that people use computers to do are best implemented in 2D space - and things that 3D holographic rendering would be useful for - protein analysis, genetic mapping, etc, need something a little more substan
    • by gnick (1211984)

      I'm not even holding my breath for "Minority Report" style interface coming to a PC near me anytime soon.
      Actually, that's perfectly doable. [cmu.edu] But, apparently your arms tire out really quickly.

      Also, if you visit the site I just linked to, check out the third vid - A really novel take on home 3d VR.
    • It's not that we necessarily can't build it. It's a question of whether it's a good idea. [ok-cancel.com]

      It's not a question of whether we'll ever have tactile holograms. The more relevant question is, WTF is with the coffee cup metaphor?
  • Sooo (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Slimee (1246598) on Friday April 04, 2008 @04:18PM (#22967412) Journal
    What happens if you try and drink from your tea cup? Can we put alcohol in our teacups and mix data with booze? bring a whole new meaning to "sippin' on haterade"? Accidently lose all your files when you mistakenly pour a real beverage into your computer tea cup? And why would anyone want to pour data anywhere? What would happen if you dropped the cup? Would data just explode all over the floor? How do you clean up spilled data? Does one cry over spilled data, like they do over spilled milk?

    I prefer my drag and drop just fine...let's stick with dragging files onto tabletops before we start spilling them all over the place

    Last thing we need is some slashdotter accidently spilling his porn folder on the coffee table instead of his excel project.

    I don't think people are quite ready for this one...
    • by querist (97166)
      Just don't put alcohol in it when running Mathematica (TM) or anything similar.

      Remember: Maths and alcohol don't mix. Don't drink and derive!
      MADD: Mathematicians Against Drunk Deriving.
    • "How do you clean up spilled data?"
      With the mop and bit bucket, of course!
  • Designers having fun (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cowscows (103644) on Friday April 04, 2008 @04:18PM (#22967416) Journal
    If you do any sort of design for a living, be it industrial, graphic, architectural, whatever; the reality of your job is that silly things like management, focus groups, budget, laws of physics, etc. keep you from being as creative as you'd like sometimes. To balance that out, it's not uncommon for design professionals to find other outlets in which to release that creativity, to let it thrive, if only for a moment, so that it doesn't completely shrivel up and die inside of them.

    Half of those people work on little side projects like this. They know it's not really realistic or practical. It might not even be a particularly good idea, but it's something that's fun to let their brain chew on, and something that's fun to discuss with others.

    The other half of those people go become college professors, and they use their students' projects to satisfy their creative urges, with the minor side-effect of not preparing those students at all for their future jobs. Then when the students have their big crits, the reviewers inevitably skewer them for not having any connection to reality.

    But I'm not bitter about it. Nope.
    • But I'm not bitter about it. Nope.
      Somebody forgot to drink his coffee this morning...

      No wait, not that cup, that's my spreadsheet!!!
  • Delayed (Score:4, Informative)

    by EdIII (1114411) * on Friday April 04, 2008 @04:19PM (#22967422)
    Shouldn't this article have been posted 3 days ago?
  • by pwnies (1034518) * <j@jjcm.org> on Friday April 04, 2008 @04:19PM (#22967432) Homepage Journal
    But does it run linux?
    If so you could run CUPS on cups... and that'd just be spiffy.
  • Yawn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by El Cabri (13930) * on Friday April 04, 2008 @04:20PM (#22967450) Journal
    So much time and energy wasted trying to come up with fancy data processing metaphors that refer to "intuitive" concepts and situations... Like if educated adults were retarded children and needed to be spoonfed some special way of handling their environment so that they don't find it too challenging. This is mostly useless, the signal/noise in this kind of "breakthrough" research is historically one order of magnitude lower that what valuable R&D dollars are supposed to be spent for.

    99.99% of what we take for granted today in data manipulation ergonomics is incremental improvements brought about by REAL experts in ergonomics who observe REAL people using REAL computers.
  • Generally, I like it--I've only lost my coffee cup twice in the last decade.

    However, I have lost perhaps 20 USB flash memory sticks.

  • Outside the Box (Score:4, Insightful)

    by trongey (21550) on Friday April 04, 2008 @04:24PM (#22967520) Homepage
    Sure this is a bit over-the-top, but it's exactly the kind of breakaway thinking that can lead to something good. Stuff like this is what's required to get away from the beige box computer mentality (even if the boxes are sometimes camouflaged to look like some other color of box, or flattened out so they look like a pad or a table). Not to mention that it actually sounds kind of like a fun way to handle certain tasks.
  • Is this our first step towards the Infinite Probability Drive? I hear the dynamics of the fluid movement of tea is rather important towards its functionality...
    • by Vrallis (33290)

      Is this our first step towards the Infinite Probability Drive? I hear the dynamics of the fluid movement of tea is rather important towards its functionality...
      Gah! Infinite Improbability Drive...

      Jeez, try to make a joke and screw it up with a typo =(
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by mcmonkey (96054)

        Gah! Infinite Improbability Drive... Jeez, try to make a joke and screw it up with a typo =(

        What are the odds of that? ;)

      • Jeez, try to make a joke and screw it up with a typo =(

        Sounds all too probable to me.

  • When you pour tea out of a vessel into another container, your vessel has lost tea, and the new container has gained tea. Not so with data. If I up my data to you, in the end we both have copies. The reality is more like a cup that pours infinitely (much to the RIAA's chagrin). So pouring tea is the wrong metaphor. In any case, as others have pointed out, the hard part of the user interface is selecting what data to transfer. The easy part (and the only part identified in the article) is initiating th
  • you can't tell ME that the entire Internets is in that little cup?

    but what happens if I forget and pour coffee in it?
  • Gamer-Cases with fans like jetengines and I'm-cheap-and-look-so-PCs from supermarket
    discounters and even gas stations, a computer which looks like a computer would be a
    fresh and cool idea of a design.


    (IMHO) it would be perfect if the designer knows what "bauhaus design" is.
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Friday April 04, 2008 @04:48PM (#22967760)
    Sometimes designers need to be praised for their bold new visions and paradigm-breaking ideas, other times they need to be smacked in the head and have their hallucinogenics confiscated.
    • other times they need to be smacked in the head and have their hallucinogenics confiscated.

      Jeez... you sound like my parole officer...

      Just the other day I was watching a video of two lovely young ladies, very down-to-earth gals. Then they kissed, and I thought "Hey, those girls are just right for me!" I was in love. They had a cup they were using to share information, so they're probably pretty smart and tech savvy. I was a little non-plussed by the next few minutes of these 2girls with their 1cup, but then it occurred to me, they were on Facebook!

      I really think you're being harsh with

  • I'm not sure what would be worse, wiiCUP or iCUP. For some reason this article brings out the grade schooler in me.
  • by EEPROMS (889169)
    Tea Cup!!! what are you an Apple user, now a Beer mug is more like it..
  • Has anyone else seen that commercial where the guy "clicks" on his stereo and the "drags" it to overlay his car, sitting outside? How cool would that be. I want what I'm hearing on the radio to be saved in my car's stereo, so I "cut and paste" it to my car in 3-D space (maybe with a souped-up wii-mote?). I want that picture on my wall to be my new desktop background, so I do the same thing. I want what I'm seeing to play via webcast so I draw a "box" around whatever my point of focus is, "lock" it in place
  • The internets made my brains a bit too corrupted: I can't even watch this image [dvice.com] from the article without thinking "Hey, two girls, one cup"

    Ok, I am signing up for some shocktherapy right now.
  • C Cup (Score:2, Funny)

    by tsalmark (1265778)
    I'll take C-Cups over PC Cups any day.
  • It should be called 'Tea', and the version numbering should be a bit like Ubuntu's release naming. I suggest they name the release version 'Earl Grey, hot'.
  • I bet a lot of people are looking forward to running the "hot coffee" mod on this baby!

  • If you want to appeal to the average working man wouldn't it make more sense to make it look like a bottle of beer?
  • ...by just reading the tea-leaves!
  • ... from an iCup "computer" to a Talkie Toaster [wikipedia.org].

    Unless the iCup can read the tea leaves and predict your future, this must be the worst UI paradigm ever.
  • Just in case you thought you could extemporaneously prepare a really good pot of improbability: Tea -- Preparation of liquor for use in sensory tests [iso.org]

    The method consists in extracting of soluble substances in dried tea leaf, containing in a porcelain or earthenware pot, by means of freshly boiling water, pouring of the liquor into a white porcelain or earthenware bowl, examination of the organoleptic properties of the infused leaf, and of the liquor with or without milk or both.

    Cracking organoleptics, Gromit.

  • MIT OCW [mit.edu]

    There's a course on this sorta thing from 5 years ago...
  • I've just created more designs with my digital camera and photoshop. They are:
    * remote control computer: you can point it to others to share data
    * beer bottle computer: you can share data in a friendly environment by clunking it against other beer bottles
    * ear plug computer: it uploads data to your main bed computer whilst you are asleep through your skin
    * "Wild Pig" Merlot computer: you use the rubber cap to put the data into a newer computer if necessary
    * Fight Club DVD computer ...
    Darn, I need to clean u
  • now that they are working on phones with projection capability, maybe in a couple of years a small device like N810 will not only have wimax but also have built-in projector.

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

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