december 2015
Cof-e-bar uses the coffee ritual as a catalyst for social interaction, as well as a vehicle for collective engagement with technology. In this demonstration of the Internet of Things, Computer Vision and Augmented Reality transform paper cups and an ordinary glass tabletop into smart interfaces. The digitally enhanced objects enable visitors to visualize and navigate in real time the stream of information flowing through social media while enjoying some freshly brewed coffee. There are two iterations of the cof-e-bar, the first one augments an existing table while the second one, we fabricated our own table.
Rodolphe el-Khoury
Christopher Chung
Veruska Vasconez
Frank Chen
Nika Mirrafie
Claudia Aguado
Haochi Zhang
Zhengrong Hu
Pedro Ramos-Nieves
My involvement with this project was at RAD-UM ( in which I was one of the Lead Designers while overseeing the production and fabrication of the prototype.
augmented reality
cof-e-bar v1.0
The first iteration of the Cof-e-bar was presented at eMerge Americas 2015 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. This first prototype augmented an existing table with a glass tabletop surface. An adjacent table was fabricated to house the equipment necessary to augment the glass table. Here, a short throw projecter, infrared lamps and an infrared webcam was housed. Specifically for this conference, we've embedded the following hashtags into each paper cup: #eMerge2015, #IoT, #WiT, #RAD and #eGov as common hashtags used throughout the conference. Free coffee was given to visitors in which they would not only choose the coffee they'd like, but also the hashtag they'd like to see tweets and instagram photos from.
Cof-e-bar 1.0 at eMerge Americas 2015.
Fiducials (a variation of the QR tag) are placed at the underside of each coffee cup.
Plan of the glass tabletop showing the tweets and instagram photos attracted to the coffee cup of the same hashtag.
An elevation of Cof-e-bar 1.0 showing the system in which to augment the glass table.
A tweet "caught" by the coffee cup at eMerge Americas 2015.
Former Provost Thomas LeBlanc, eMerge Americas founder Manny Medina, and Dean el-Khoury using Cof-e-bar 1.0 (from left to right).
cof-e-bar v2.0
The second iteration of the Cof-e-bar was presented in the VIP lounge of Design Miami 2015. In this iteration we designed and fabricated our own custom table, allowing us to hide all the electronics and equipment necessary within the table itself. In order to detect the coffee cups on the tabletop and display accordingly, the inner space of the table had to be free of any objects, as a result, the structure had to be pushed outwards (see drawings and diagrams below). For this event, we re-programmed the fiducials indicative of the event: #DesignMiami, #ArtBasel, and #RAD.
Cof-e-bar 2.0 at Design Miami 2015.
A kit of parts used to construct Cof-e-bar 2.0.
Exploded axonometric of Cof-e-bar 2.0 without the electronics.
A section of Cof-e-bar 2.0 showing the system in which the coffee cups interact with the table.
Cof-e-bar 2.0 at Design Miami 2015 without its cladding.
UM SoA students volunteering as Baristas at Design Miami 2015.
A tweet and an instagram photo caught by a pair of coffee cups.