"Developed by Paul Dietz and a team at the Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the iGlassware system signals staff when you are ready for a refill. It uses an adaptation of the radio frequency identification (RFID) tag technology that is used to stop people stealing goods from shops.
The system may sound intrusive, but there's a genuine need for it, says Ronald Cole, an expert in hotel and restaurant management at the University of Delaware. Diners like to have their glasses kept topped up, he says, and this system sounds like a promising application of technology to address one of their "pet peeves".
Research shows a high correlation between prompt beverage service and overall customer satisfaction. "Our studies show that if there is a long delay between beverage order time and fill and subsequent refill, customers tend to feel less satisfied about the entire dining experience," Cole says.
WaiterBell Angle: This is an old article, however the product may still be in development (see here). While this solution seems to require too much proprietary equipment (glasses, table) and maybe too specific (drinks only), the inspiration behind the idea is based on customer experiences and what they feel diminishes their satisfaction. The WaiterBell system addresses these issues in a discreet, flexible, and effective solution that is affordable and easy to install.