What is it?

The MediaCup is an ordinary coffee cup augmented with sensing, processing and communication capabilities (integrated in the cup's bottom), to collect and communicate general context information in a given environment. It is an example how to equip everyday objects with computing and communication capabilities. With the MediaCup setup (consisting of several cups and other equipment) we explore the added value of computerized everyday objects. The MediaCup demonstrator is used since Sept., 1999 in an everyday setup (used by non-experts also). To receive an impression of our environment see MediaCups moving and meeting in our lab.

The MediaCup is original designed an research artifact, but today turns out to be a good demonstration example to explain the principles and use of the research area "ubiquitous computing" in general.

How does it work?

The bottom of the MediaCup is made of rubber, that can be separated from the rest of the Cup. The electronic of the MediaCup is integrated into this rubber bottom; this electronic can be taken away before putting the cup into the dishwasher. To supply the cup with energy a wireless energy recharge system is used that transfer energy to the integrated rechargeable battery system. To recharge the MediaCup, the Cup is placed to a special sauce; a 15 minute recharging cycle allows to run the MediaCup for about 10 hours.

The electronic in the cup senses how the cup is used (e.g. if some one drinks out of the cup) and the temperature. This information is then communicated to other computerized objects in the room (e.g. a coffee machine or a Web server, see technical details). Programs running on these objects use this data to support the human using these systems.

cup_color_1.jpg (19575 bytes)

What does the MediaCup site contain?

The MediaCup Site explains the MediaCup demonstrator and associated projects. The Overview section contains an easy understandable description of the MediaCup prototype; associated projects give and impression what you can do with the MediaCup and the MediaCup environment. In the Technology section the system, hard- and software is explained in more detail. Here you may download the software or the layout for the hardware. Today, the research section contains only some papers. If you have any questions, refer to the contact section Overview
      application scenarios
      associated projects