Social Networking Gets Boozy with 'Buddy Cup'
So much for liquid courage: a new tech-enhanced drinking glass makes it possible to send a Facebook friend request to the cutie sitting next to you at the bar without even having to say hello.
The Buddy Cup, released this week by Budweiser Brazil, puts a modern spin on traditional toasting by enabling users to virtually befriend fellow bar-goers with the clink of a cup.
Created as a cooperative project between edgy advertising company, Agencia Africa and digital innovation studio, Bolha in Sao Paolo, Brazil, the Buddy Cup works using a microchip, appropriately dubbed the "bump chip."
In order to activate the cup's bump chip, thirsty users must first scan the Quick Response (QR) barcode on the bottom of the cup with the Budweiser smartphone app. This links the cup directly to the user's Facebook profile. From there, making virtual friends is as simple as clinking glasses with other Buddy Cup users.
The recent launch of the Buddy Cup at an event in Sao Paolo was an "instant success," according to Manuel Rangel Macchiavello, a representative of Budweiser's Brazilian division.
"The Buddy Cup brings together the in-bar experience with Facebook, the most used social media channel for our consumers," Macchiavello told ABC News.
Despite its many merits, it may be for the best that the Buddy Cup is currently only available for promotional purposes in Brazil.
With many Facebook users feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of erstwhile "friends" already cluttering up their newsfeeds, it's unclear how helpful the Buddy Cup would really be as a networking tool.
And while accepting friend requests from folks you barely know might seem like a thrilling activity for a Saturday night, it's a choice you might wake up regretting. If your privacy settings are lax, you could end up sharing much more than a drink with your new Facebook friends.