No Waiting for a Waiter: Table Signal Gives Bottles New Life

When we’re done with glass bottles, most of us simply recycle them or throw them away. But designer Doyeop Kim has a new idea for the bottles emptied at restaurants: turn them into server-signaling table lights.

The Re:fill Chime Bell and Light consists of a base unit with some buttons and a light that changes color based on the button you press. There is blue to signal the waiter that you’d like some water; pink to signal that you’re ready to order; and green to tell the server you’re ready for your bill. But the interesting part of the design is the empty, cleaned out glass bottle that you invert over the light. It acts to diffuse the light and create a dazzling display on your tabletop, doing so much more than a simple wave of the hand ever could.

Obviously, the concept wouldn’t be very effective with just-emptied bottles, but if the restaurant were willing to save empty bottles, wash them out and let them dry, then return them to the tables, they’d have an endless supply of Re:fill toppers. When one gets broken, they would simply have to clean up the mess and replace it with another.

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See more in Various Gizmos or under Gadgets. February, 2010.