Danes devise the draught beer app

Danish students have come up with a smart phone beer app they call “Ghostbar”.

You elbow your way forward through a hefty wall of raucous tipplers in a crowded pub, finally making it to the bar, waving your arms every time the bartender seems likely to look your way. Finally you make eye contact and signal your wish for two pints.

After another eternity the two frothing glasses are placed in front of you and you pat yourself down, searching for your wallet, which of course you left in your jacket on the bench in the opposite corner – where your date has long since given up on you and strolled out the door.

But don’t lose your faith in life. Danish engineering students have come up with a beer app that could put an end to such cheerless incidents. Their “Ghostbar” app can connect your phone directly to a dispensing system for beer on tap. You can order, pay and tap your beer without involving bartenders and troublesome queues.

Devised the app to save their student pub

Students at Aarhus University in Denmark contrived the beer tap app after an application for a student bar at the Institute for Bioscience was denied. Faced with such a crisis, they got a bright idea.

A fully automatic beer-tapping system without bar personnel would not technically be a bar, and thus would not need such approval. The new proposal was accepted – on the condition that the students could create a prototype proving that the system works.

Under the leadership of Christian Dannesboe, an educator at the Aarhus University School of Engineering, chemistry students got together with their fellows studying ICT to develop Ghostbar. It took only a few months to perfect.

Taps an exact quantity of beer

The app displays an empty glass on the screen of your phone, you drag your finger up to show how much you want, press on OK to accept the price and the sum will be subtracted from your bank account. The order goes right to the draught beer tapping system, which automatically dispenses the exact quantity of beer you’ve ordered.

See how the system works in the following Danish demonstration. (From Aarhus University)

“Most of us have stood in lines to buy beer in bars or at concerts because the service hinges on personnel resources and time-consuming payment. You might also get an overfilled glass or one that is disappointingly short once the foam settles. This is a problem which we have tried to solve,” says Dannesboe in a comment to the university’s news outlet.

Breweries interested

“No engineer could solve this problem alone. Building such a machine requires special knowledge about chemistry technology, mechanics, computer technology – and of course a good dose of inventive talent,” he adds.

The collaboration among students didn’t stop there. Machine engineering students are working on a 3D-printed container for the beer dispensing system, to be launched later this summer.

Several breweries have now signalled their interest in the Ghostbar system and have offered the students free beer in trade for seeing how it works. Cheers!


Read the Norwegian version of this article at forskning.no

Translated by: Glenn Ostling

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