Ever been in a bar or a restaurant with someone who just can’t stop fidgeting with their phones? Whether they’re texting, checking in on Foursquare, or reading Facebook statuses, it’s a socially rude thing to do to those who’ve made time to hang out in person. To encourage people to drop their phones and come back to real life for a quick second, advertising agency Fischer & Friends has proposed the concept of the Offline Glass – a beer glass that will only stand up straight when placed on a phone.
The Offline Glass looks like your average wheat beer glass except that a wedge from the bottom has been cut out. This is designed for drinkers to insert their smartphones to help the glass stand up straight. With the phone needed under the glass, the drinker is restricted from touching their phones at risk of spilling their beer. Technically you could try to multitask, but using a phone with just one hand is harder now that phone sizes increase every year. Holding your beer all night long can also cause it to warm up faster, and can be tiresome.
It’s a neat idea, but not one without flaws. Smartphones generally aren’t designed to be waterproof, and everyone knows cold drinks condensate. And what if the phone has a case which makes it thicker than average, making the glass unleveled anyway? Perhaps this is a bar strategy to not only be kitschy and trendy, but also trick customers into spilling drinks more often, resulting in more sales. Whether all the clean up is worth this sale tactic is another story.
So far, the ad campaign has only taken place at a bar called Salve Jorge in San Paolo, Brazil and the agency has no plans to implement the Offline Glass elsewhere. But if you walked into a bar that uses the Offline Glass, would you find this encouraging for your real world social life? Or is it all too gimmicky and people should just accept that gadget addiction is a part of our current culture?