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Time for a Beer? 154

i am fartacus writes: "Good news for thirsty beer lovers in a strange town, this will help you find the nearest pub... hmmm beer .... and help you stay on time. " The gist of this is that it's a watch with a GPS transmitter that can show you the distance and direction to the 4 nearest pubs. Ingenious!
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Time for a Beer?

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  • by pheph ( 234655 ) on Thursday January 24, 2002 @02:36AM (#2893128) Homepage
    Ofcourse we'd need a watch with a GPS to track where the 4 nearest bathrooms are
  • The day I need a device to find me beer...
  • by Nathdot ( 465087 ) on Thursday January 24, 2002 @02:38AM (#2893134)
    ...operating a GPS device in order to bar hop while completely stone drunk, and swaying all over the pavement shouldn't prove a challenge at all.

    Man I have to hold my wrist with the other hand just to look at the time.

    And another thing; Who wants to bear witness to such truly horrible pick-up lines as:

    "Hey baby! Wanna see my GPS device?! Yowzer!"

    • Yeah, you'll impress the shit out of her when you look down and realize that you've spilled beer all over your GPS watch and now it's loudly proclaiming the location of the nearest animal-porn store. --
  • by CarbonJackson ( 540580 ) on Thursday January 24, 2002 @02:40AM (#2893140) Homepage
    In my opinion the watch needs two key features before it can be succesful.

    1. The ability to track my house so I can find my way back home.

    2. An ugly girl detector, so the previous feature doesn't allow me to make it home with the wrong girl.

    Figure it out Mr. Scietists and sign me up!
    • 2. An ugly girl detector, so the previous feature doesn't allow me to make it home with the wrong girl.

      Your posting on slashdot your not gonna make it with any girls.
    • by Aceticon ( 140883 ) on Thursday January 24, 2002 @04:52AM (#2893404)
      The ability to track my house so I can find my way back home

      For a find home system i recommed a donkey or a mule. They can always take you home no mater how drunk you are. Sure, they're a bit out of fashion nowadays, and it's a bit hard to get them in Chrome-blue or Fire-red colors but:
      - They're 100% environment friendly
      - You can fuel them up by just leaving them in a grassy field for some hours
      - They come in a wide variety of grey/brown shades
      - You can fit two of them in a garage

      Furthermore, they have a long proven track record at taking drunk people home
    • Security (Score:2, Funny)

      by bedders ( 524690 )
      1. Steal GPS device from drunkard.

      2. Steal house keys from said drunkard.

      3. Point GPS device towards "home"

      4. Steal cool geek stuff from drunkards house.

      5. Repeat
  • find the nearest pub.... and help you stay on time

    Aren't those two mutually exclusive? Unless, you're trying to get to the pub for happy hour or something.
  • Wonderful (Score:2, Insightful)

    by starvo ( 33598 )
    Finding beer pubs.
    And idea who's time has finally come.
    Ingenious, and tasty.
  • Really? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by The Musician ( 65375 )'s a watch with a GPS transmitter...

    Wow, I didn't know they could make GPS *transmitters* that small!
  • I can't go into a bar without losing a few hours. Sometimes I go into some kind of wierd time/space warp where I suddenly wake up in strange places.
  • by ergo98 ( 9391 ) on Thursday January 24, 2002 @02:44AM (#2893158) Homepage Journal

    It's a GPS receiver, not a transmitter. GPS works passively by listening to the timing differences of time-encoded signals from up to 12 satellites at once (there are 24, but generally the most you'll be able to "hear" at once are 12). Here's [] the dummies guide to it.

    It is funny though how GPS is a basic technology, but every application of it is treated as some new discovery: i.e. I'm going to make a piece of software that has a database of all movie theatres, and when you have a GPS on your PDA it'll point you to the nearest theatre: Whoopee, I've developed a new theatre detector! Blah. As a sidenote: MapPoint 2002 is a very nice product. The breadth of information in it is astounding.

  • This is great! We can integrate into Woz's new handheld - and you'll be able to work at the local bar, no matter where you happen to be travelling!

    I can feel my productivity rising...
  • Exportation... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mirko ( 198274 ) on Thursday January 24, 2002 @02:46AM (#2893171) Journal
    There are obviously countries in which this product won't be possibily exported : These are the countries which somehow forbid the consumption of alcohol or just its advertising.
    For example, in France, you can't just advertise for Health-hazardous stuff, so you see, this is not only a matter of talibanism.
    But if they added the possibility to just find whatever with this, I'd be interested, especially for
    • gas stations (which'd seriously help people driving to their tank limits),
    • garbage or ashtrays to incitate people to keep their environment clean
    • hairdresser (if coupled with a camera and face-recognition software : "Mirror, am I the most beautiful ?")
    • coffeee shops or brothels, for the Amsterdam tourists (don't mod if you've not been there)
    • surprise option for the tourist (takes at random a monument, a museum or a pub)
    • CowboyNeal... oups.. it is not a /. poll but it could actually help to be able to point towards other similarly featured devices to quickly find somebody lost in a crowd... But wait. I don't want this to become a new kind of digital id / (aka tracking / spying / bug)...
      So, let's just do it the old fashioned way : ask people, you may even make friends :-)
    • Toilets goddamnit, toilets! That is by far the best application I can find for this.

      It would also have to be intelligent enough to direct you to a deserted alley when no public restrooms are available in the vicinity.

      Oh, and for European public restrooms, I guess some sort of "gay sex/no gay sex" option would be nice.

    • ... countries which somehow forbid the consumption of alcohol or just its advertising.
      For example, in France ...

      Wow, talk about a _bad_ example. ;o)

      I know this quote takes it somehow out of context, but France will probably be the _last_ country to forbid alcohol. Or wait,- wine isn't really alcohol, is it?
    • I live in the Netherlands, have been to Amsterdam quite a few times:

      Once you are in the "right" neighbourhood, you do not need any GPS device any more.

      What I would like there is a device that tells me how to get away from all coffeeshops and brothels.

      Somehow, brothels and coffeeshops do not sound attractive to me at all. I've never even be tempted to smoke cannabis or even visit one of these places. Probably because there is no "thrill of the forbidden", so the thing itself would have to be attractive, which to me, it isn't.

    • France is a bad example ... There is tons of advertising for alcohol in France, there are just regulations and guidelines to follow, such as including some fine print saying that excessive consumption is hazardous ... blah blah blah ...

      very much the same as advertising for tobacco products on the US...

      The fine print dosn't work too much though... its 11:36am in Paris and seeing those ads in the metro made me damn thirsty ... wish i had one of those watches now!!! Oh wait this is France ... i can buy liquor anywhere ... and drink it anywhere!!! ... what a repressed society i tell ya!
    • They've had this for a long time in hand-held & dashboard mount devices. My Garmin [] Vista lets me look for the nearest food & drink, lodging, attractions, entertainment, shopping, services, transportation, and emergency & government. Most of those are subdivided, so for example on food & drink I can choose a style, under services I can search for Bank/ATM. Of course making this database costs money, which is why you have to buy it, and it's only available for major metro areas.
  • as craig kilborn said: "who needs GPS when all you have to do is follow Prince Henry"
  • A decent use for the TSP - finding the fastest way to get drunk.

    Of course, the heuristic would be changing over time.

  • fooled me (Score:2, Funny)

    by Maskirovka ( 255712 )
    I bet a a buddy of mine a pint that the link would take me to the product on thinkgeek. Good thing we didn't shake on it!

  • Something really useful would be a device that would help you find your way back home from the bar and/or make a taxi appear with a push of a button. Finding a bar has never been the problem, atleast for me :)
  • the four closest nudie-bars. The thing would sell like hot cakes!
  • by Ryu2 ( 89645 ) on Thursday January 24, 2002 @02:56AM (#2893207) Homepage Journal
    For instance: If you're pubbing, and you've just heard that the Earth will be destroyed by aliens in 12 minutes to make way for a new space highway...
  • What about getting back home???
  • One feature that would make this way more useful as well would be the number of a local cab company made available.

    That way, you could get there for sure (if you don't have a car) and in a flash you have the number to call for a ride home, if you have one too many beers...

    Granted though, this looks more or less like a test project, never to be released to the public.

    And how much of a drunk would you have to be to know where the closest 4 bars are, anyway??? =)

  • About as useful... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Metrollica ( 552191 ) <m etrollica AT hotmail D0T com> on Thursday January 24, 2002 @03:03AM (#2893227) Homepage Journal
    I think this is about as useful as the Matrix Binary Watch [] reported on Slashdot here. []

    Seriously, if you have a couple hundred dollars to waste on device like this, perhaps you should think about donating to a charity or something at least worthwhile.
  • Now we just need to modify it to show the closest Linux User Group. Of course, that might be somewhat redundant with the advertised function ;-).

  • When activated, the screen shakes, and becomes double, in exact opposite to what your eyes may see after a fair few pints, thereby cancelling out the effect, and giving the sozzled user a valuable aid to get back home afterwards.
  • How big of an alcoholic do you need to be before you can buy a gps watch designed soley for the purpose of getting wasted?
  • by gladbach ( 527602 ) on Thursday January 24, 2002 @03:18AM (#2893262)
    pub crawls.... just imagine.

    "follow me guys, this thingy says the next pud is THAT way!!!" *walks headlong into a wall*

    : D
    • by Marcus Brody ( 320463 ) on Thursday January 24, 2002 @07:25AM (#2893666) Homepage
      Yes. A friend once dragged me out on a pub crawl after a trekky convention. I was the only one not dressed as a Klingon, StarFleet, Data (3 of them) or Vulcan.

      Furthermore, one of them constantly had out his tricorder:

      "High levels of antonioum-C indicate that a licensed establishment is somewhere in the vicinity. The phase-inducer indicates that there could be a "wine-bar" 200 yards south-east and a "public-bar" further to the north. Captain, what do you suggest?"

      And that was before they got drunk.......

      oh boy.
  • Please warn me of the following stages:

    - I'm the best looking guy here
    - Damn! When did all the hot chicks get here?
    - Brother! I love you man! You've always been there!
    - Let me buy you a beer!
    - Let me buy EVERYONE a beer! I'm rich!
    - Oh man.. look at me.. I'm a wicked dancer!
    - Hey! I'm a good drummer! Seriously!
    - Oh yah?! Well f*ck you too man!
    - But officer, I only had a couple beers!
    - You want one?
    - But honey, I know I didn't come home last night, but it wasn't my fault. Honest! I forgot where we lived.
  • by MrRagu ( 212889 ) < minus threevowels> on Thursday January 24, 2002 @03:23AM (#2893269) Homepage
    If you have a handheld (Pocket PC, Palm, and certain internet enabled cell phones) and live in a major city, this has been available for months from a free app called Vindigo []. Its even better in that it tells you directions to the nearest bars, restaurants, stores, and movies and it doesn't even need GPS as long as you know what block you're on. It also has reviews for everything -- which is extemely useful.

    I don't want to sound like a marketing guy, but IMHO Vindigo is indispensible if you live near a place like NYC and often have trouble finding places.

    Downsides: It is currently only offered in 18 cities and has ads but I bet that watch doesn't work all over the place either. The upsides are tremendous, though. Having a bar finder in a watch is all well and good, but if you already have a Palm you might as well get all the other useful info as well. You'll never have to wander around the Village looking for the Original Ray's Famous Pizza again.
    • It's a nifty app, but so many people have been doing so many similar apps for so long. Look at the Writing messages in empty space [] story that ran here just the other day, and think about piping the content of that through anything device that can determine it's location and access the data. As well as pubs, you could tell it to grep for coffee bars, service stations. You could also filter out records from organisations who you don't like:

      SELECT coffee_shops FROM locations WHERE coffee_shop_owner!="Starbucks" AND radius(1,km);

      People have been working on the infrastructure for this kind of stuff for ages. I'd hate to see it all patented by the first halfway competent company that manages to get a vaguely workable implementation.


  • a GPS transmitter that can locate the nearest four drunken cuties in the bar.

    Why do I want to be stumbling around in a bar full of drunk MEN?
  • Can't you smell your way to the pub, like everybody else ?!
  • and it will make you walk a bit more, or beep, when alcohol level is over or below a certain limit...
  • Advertising I want to get on a regular basis. They should also put the technology into a watch that can also detect stress levels and then direct you to the nearest watering hole. I wonder if anyone who uses Northstar ever called in to find out where the nearest pub is.
  • For those having very few friends.
    If you manage to hack the gps/database system you might be able to redirect people to your birthday party instead of the nearest pub.

    Or if your up to practical jokes...
    Redirect them to nearest AAA center....

    An easier way is to paint arrows on the ground...
  • that it will never stop working, no matter how much Guinness you drink. Forgetting to keep a charge is no longer one of the unfortunate side effects ( 10&mode=thread), just as soon as we figure out how to shrink the damn thing.
  • More info... (Score:2, Informative)

    by superpeach ( 110218 )
    For more information on the watch and other Bristol uni wearable stuff look at []
  • by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Thursday January 24, 2002 @03:47AM (#2893318) Homepage
    GPS devices are pretty cool, but the last thing I want to be carrying arround is a GPS transmitter broadcasting my location! Maybe we can hack this thing so it's just a GPS receiver?

    • There isn't such a thing as a GPS transmitter. GPS works by receiving signals from three sattelites at different points in orbit, and calculating your location based on the differences between the times of their arrival. A GPS doesn't transmit anything by itself.
      • There isn't such a thing as a GPS transmitter.

        It was a joke. The article said the watch contained a GPS transmitter.

        There are GPS transmitters. They are all in space.
        You could put GPS transmitters on the ground too. Depending on how you configured it, it would either increase your position resolution, or it could intentionally falsify your location. In either case you would usually be breaking the law.

  • Why does this sound like something from Wheels of Zeus? I'm waiting for "Beers of Zeus" myself! The BoZ is back!

  • The usefulness of this device depends entirely on the kind of pub it takes you to.

    It would be a tragedy if such a device were only able to offer the locations of trendy bars which only sell loathesome fizzy piss.

    Obviously, it should use the CAMRA [] (Campaign for Real Ale) database of pub locations, so that you can always be assured of a good beer at the end of your journey.
    • Obviously it should use the CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) database of pub locations, so that you can always be assured of a good beer at the end of your journey.

      The question which would come up is what would happen if you took such a device to the United States, where there are swatches hundreds of miles wide with nothing proper to drink?

      Disclaimer: I live in the U.S., in a zone which (thankfully) has extremely good beer, so no harping!
      • There would obviously need to be an US plugin available to find decent US brewpubs. But without a quality assuring organization like CAMRA, it might lead us to one of those trendy shits like Los Gatos Brewery, and not to where the the REAL ale is served, like Faultline, Stoddard's or Seabright. Heck, with the right plugin, it might even beep to let you know that the Anchor tour is starting...
  • In Dutch 'gist' translates as 'yeast' (which of course is used in beer brewing). Should bring a smile to a Dutch speaking person's face.
  • Another good news for all of you that visit / work in Vienna. I found quite a good "Publocator" that features the 32 finest Irish and English Pubs in Vienna. You can find it under []. There are also rating of the pubs, approximate prices and last but not least a detailed descritpion how to get there (including map) have fun jl
  • Is can it be made to interface with the guidance system on your Beer Scooter []?
  • Well, looks like we finally found some use for GPS! I wonder when we get that service available in Finland.
  • I don't get it.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jonr ( 1130 )
    Isn't this over-specalized? Wouldn't it be much simpler just posting waypoints for current GPS instruments? Then I could just download it to my Garmin/Magellan/Whatever GPS receiver? What next? Another Gizmo for strip clubs?

  • How strange is it that this being developed in the office directly below mine, and yet I hear about it first on Slashdot. :)

    Must remember to talk to those GPS guys, their obviously doing useful work.

  • Slashdot readers will only be interested when they can search for FREE beer :-)
  • You can do that and a lot more with a bog standard GSM mobile phone.

    Why would I buy GPS on a watch?
  • Finally a watch which not only tell me when, but also where IT'S TIGER TIME !
  • ...but i always got this message after leaving a pub:
    *** goonies left the pub. (quit: connection reset by beer)
  • Interestingly enough, here in buffalo, new york, this thing would blow up on chippewa. Bar here.... here.... here.... and here....

    Literally an entire street if bars. Doubt that this is uncommon, but it rang a funny bell in me.
  • by mwillis ( 21215 )
    I have an eTrex by Garmin. It has MapSource [] installed, giving it points of interest data. Finding the nearest bank machine or pub or gas station is pretty cool, and has proved truly useful at times.

    If anyone is interested, you can browse the maps online; e.g. Like Here []
  • I'm just waiting for the kabab van update.
  • If you're looking for 99 Bottles (99 actual different beers and about 40 on tap) in Santa Cruz, CA it's at N36 58.402, W122 1.590, you'll see something like 990 @ (lat, long) when they put up my brick for finishing 10 cards of 99 each. To think I could have spent all that money on a killer PC.... sigh... I need a beer.
  • Picture of the watch (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    You can see a picture here:

    Pub Watch []
  • REAL beergeeks dont need a watch, they use the force!!!
  • by r_j_prahad ( 309298 ) <> on Thursday January 24, 2002 @11:03AM (#2894600)
    Nice idea, but personally I'm going to hold out on buying one of these until they've developed a nudie-bar add-on.
  • No they need to change the law in Arizona so they won't close all the gps locatable beer locations at 1 AM since the GPS reading might become misleading.
  • In Wisconsin, every other building is a pub; :)
  • Didn't Heineken have something like this years ago? It was for palm pilots with a GPS. Only worked in Europe but this was back with the original Palm III. Told you where the nearest bars were. Always handy when you get kicked out of the one you're in.
  • I'm not all that impressed. Although your precise location is not known, uses your rough location, zip code I believe, to provide all sorts of similar services. One particular application, BrandFinder, provides locations of Banks, all sorts of stores, Food, Hotels, Gas Stations, Auto Repair shops and more. Other programs provide directions to the nearest In-N-Out Burger or Starbucks. One program, GasFinder, provides both location and prices of local gas stations. These services have been available for a few years now, but it is still cool to locate that particular fast food restaurant while driving down the highway or to send email while mountain climbing...
  • back when i was in high school, and civilian gps was still becoming mainstream, i had a rather daft science teacher try to explain it to the class.

    "you know, with gps," he started, "it's really scary because they can always know where you are." he went on to explain how gps receivers rely on a transmitter to figure out your location, and as a result, the government can quite easily track anybody who has a gps.

    "you realize there's no transmitter in there, right?" i asked, jaded by other in-class lectures such as (the one about how we can go as fast as we want in space, the only thing stopping us is that we don't know how to stop the rocket at high speeds comes to mind)

    "come again?" he asked

    "a gps device uses no transmitters," i said, and then went into a quick, beginners version of 'how gps works'.

    my science teacher scoffed.

    and people ask why i am so hard on public education.
  • They should couple this with an HUD feature for your car that maps out the shortest route back home.

    Oh, wait....


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