It must be great working at MIT's Media Lab, where besides "serious" projects like the hundred dollar laptop, students and faculty are also free to explore less-pressing issues- like how to help distant friends and lovers feel more of a connection while they're individually getting drunk. "Lab" rats Jackie Lee, Hyemin Chung, and Ted Selker have addressed this rather under-publicized problem with a unique set of high-tech drinking glasses, called "Lover's Cups," that are rigged with sip and liquid sensors, accelerometers, RF chips, LEDs, and vibration motors to visually and/or haptically alert one cup holder when his/her partner is drinking or shaking the (hopefully empty) glass. The Cups are useful for more than just long-distance games of quarters, though, as physically tapping two of them together creates a wireless "bond" that alerts partygoers to one another's drinking habits, and generally encourages more imbibing by everyone. Plus, along with the My Beating Heart pillow and hug shirt, these Love Cups could finally help you fulfill your goal of becoming a complete and total Howard Hughes-type recluse.

[Via Smart Mobs]

The Clicker: A sitdown with Joe Belfiore (Part II)