Augmented Reality Cup


Another idea just for fun,

My proposal "The Missing Forest" (link below), suggests that all fast-food outlets and coffee shops in certain areas should use standard sized hard plastic beakers.

People would be able to customise these with silicone sleeves and silicone lids, which could hold corporate branding, football and sports allegiances or artwork or photos, including ones produced by individual users.

However, the beakers themselves may have to be fairly neutral (i.e. black) if they are to be accepted by all of the different brands.  (Though the phrase "Not a Paper Cup" could perhaps be artistically printed on in big white letters and in different designs).

But they could still be differentiated.  People could scan a barcode (such as the QR barcode popular in Japan, on the side or bottom of the beaker using their mobile.  Or take a picture of the beaker using their phone.

Sometimes the picture people take could show a novelty mug such as a Toby Jug.  Sometimes it could provide an offer for the place that the mug originated.  Sometimes it could link to a free piece of music, or a website.  At tourist spots, there could be messages for tourists from the local tourist board or museums.  There could be a virtual artwork displayed on the mug.  Every so often it could invite people to contribute a $1 to a local charity.

1 in 20 mugs might invite the user to say where they are, and if they agree, show a history of which locations the mug has been used before, and who by (people's ages, first names).

I hope that there would be a balance between public and commercial interests - you can always hope!  This idea would give people another incentive to use reuseable mugs, and make them cool.  Once you collected a code, you could keep it online, and share it with others, releasing the physical mug to be reused by someone else.

Again, this idea is just for fun.  But if you can, please do read and comment on my more serious suggestion for sorting out Coffee Cup Pollution at

Other entries in this project

New Cup
Folding Cup