I just learned another Britishism: "beer mat." Don't laugh: "coaster" makes a lot less sense. I was wondering if the British have to change the term depending on the drink. (Is there a "martini mat"?) But what's with "coaster"? We don't expect or even want the thing to help the glass go sliding about.
Anyway, this Professor Butz character has invented an elaborate electronic beer mat that sends out signals when the glass needs a refill. Presumably, some human somewhere gets the signal and responds. Of course, since you need a human being anyway, why not rely on that person's ability to see when glasses need refilling? Apparently, that deficiency in the invention has led to efforts at reconceptualization, and they are now blabbering about using the thing to cast votes in bar games. Too bad the glass is going to be on it though. The devices cost $100 to manufacture, but Professor Butz has visions of selling enough that he can get the cost down to $10. Good luck, Professor Butz!