For centuries, part of the public drinking experience has been the banter of the bartender with the customers. Such conversation can have a relaxing and therapeutic effect on the person. In the new cyber-bar, however, the bartender is no longer needed. The customer assumes the function.
There is a new self-serve beverage system called IPourIt in which bar customers dispense their own beer, wine, or any other drink from taps and pay by the ounce.
The person presents a state-issued ID, and then receives a radio-frequency-encoded wristband. This device records the volume of any drink taken from any of the taps on the wall. The drinker can sample (and pay for) the options before pouring a full glass. The bar actually saves money since the customer pays for the overflow that frequently happens in busy bars.
Even sobriety is monitored. The system can limit the customer’s consumption based on height and weight, worked out in conjunction with the alcohol content of beverages sampled.
(As described by Craig Lambert, Shadow Work: The Unpaid, Unseen Jobs that Fill Your Day, Berkeley, Calif., Counterpoint Press, 2015, p. 151.)