Ideas for #OktoberfestOfThings

This year, we will again celebrate the #OktoberfestOfThings ( It started as an initiative to evangelize the IoT last year and it seems we get quite a bit more traction this year.

This is an open event and everybody is welcome to participate. While we meet in Munich, we would love to see local groups in other countries/at other places doing the same. On Sept 18 we will have an open ideation workshop at IXDS (the guys behind Fritzing) in their Munich Office and later on we will hack the things in the Munich FabLab (Hackerspace). There, we have access to 3D printers and the laser cutter, just in case we need more than electronics. We will then continue to hack on Sept 19 and later on move on to a beergarden to test our inventions. The actual Oktoberfest starts on that Saturday and everybody is of course welcome to test it all under real-life (real-Oktoberfest) conditions.

So ideas we have so far:

  • report if the tent doors are open/closed, e.g. via Reed relays.
  • report temperature and humidity
  • report sound volume
  • report if people are dancing on the tables (piezo sensor?)
  • report the number of times you’ve lifted your beer mug, including triggering automatic refills if the level is below a threshold.
  • tap the beer coaster to reorder beer

For the latter two, hybris, the company I am working for, will create a IoT prototype with the spark core. We’ve already got some basic UI up and running here:

We will later also share a beer coaster design files and the sources to the website in general - all under CC BY-SA license on github. The basic communication is already working, we’re thrilled…

Let us know what ideas you have… and maybe tell us which lib and sensor could be used to realize it. It would be great to collect as many ideas possible before our actual event.

If you are in Muc, check out the #FabLabMuc and also the Meetup Group:


A beer level sensor that monitors your drinking rate… tells you when your not drinking fast enough! and a temperature gauge, cant have warm beer… you could track how many refills you get and everything

could even use a capacitive liquid level sensor so you don’t contaminate your beer! just clip it on the side and away you go

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So awesome. What are you using as the sensor detecting the presence and level of the beer mug?

We usw this Sensor for detecting liftups oft the mugs and tapping:

It is sadly good for detecting on/off, but real fill level detection is way to inaccurate. I reduce the level of the beer mugs each time the mug goes down by 30ml. A full masskrug has 1liter and it allows us to have a good guess when that thing is going below 25% at which time the masskrug in the web ui starts flashing to signal a refill/replacement to the waiter. :slight_smile:


Do you have links to such a capacitive clip on sensor? Great ideas, Thx for sharing!

i didn’t have anything in mind in particular, I’ve seen youtube videos of people using anything… aluminum foil seems to work maybe some aluminum tape would be better. and stick it to the cup with a couple of wires going to the core

i think the hard part will be other influences on it like touching it with your hand or when drinking and the level changes as the cup tilts etc.

here is a bit of discussion about using capacitive sensors… the last post someone got it working but I’m not sure how well

Capacitance-based sensors can detect a varying liquid volume, but they need to be 2-point calibrated (full/empty) for each instance since there is no absolute value for the capacitance.

For a rough estimate of when the glass is getting empty, you could use a force sense resistor in the beer mat. This measures pressure, so you could calibrate in advance with an empty glass. (EDIT: ah, I see you are already using this!) With some smarts in the cloud software that tracks the beer being consumed over time (watching the glass get progressively lighter) could help avoid false alarms.

How about embedding a rfid chip in the base of the glass to identify the drinker, which is detected by a reader in the beer mat. (I’m assuming the beer mats will be fixed to the table, while the glasses are of course moveable.)

Ah, I love Oktoberfest in Munich, was there a couple of years ago…with these fancy gadgets now there are even more reasons to want to go back!

Thx for the ideas. The capacitive fill level sensor sounds like something we’d need to try. I’ll compile all ideas and later will go hunting for spark core/arduino solutions.

Thx a lot!

Just wanted to let you know that the web ui for the project is now live at and all source code, including spark core code is shared unter GPL at

The web project part is a Google App Engine project and using the Gaelyk (Groovy) web framework. The web ui consists of a single HTML page that connects to the SSE events from the Spark clould. I’ve just recreated the images for the UI from scratch in inkscape, updated the UI and interactions and then shared it all on Github. The web UI will ask for the access token, which is then put unencrypted into HTML5 localstorage. Keep that in mind. As the ui is completely static and it’s all run via Javascript, you can also pull these files locally if you want.

Current features:

  • lift up of a mug registers a liftup - liftup++
  • put back the mug to recalculate the fill level - each liftup reduces the fill level by 30ml
  • double tap: magic - the mug starts flashing red to signal the waiter. This is the funniest part, but actually a really useful thing.

We had quite a bit of fun at work (like always at hybris… :slight_smile:


Just a quick update. Were one week away till the 3rd Oktoberfest of things and were totally happy to have received great support from spark! Thx a lot guys!

I’ve just received some sensors that fit the Oktoberfest: alcohol sensors, vibration, loudness, temperature.

Hope to see a fee of you next week!


Here are some pictures of the #OktoberfestOfThings Hackday at Fablab Munich and the field testing at the Hofbräukeller Biergarten. There we used a basic setup with just a tilt sensor and a LiPo battery to attach the SparkCore to a Masskrug, using a printed tiny breadboard Adapter. The tilt state is exposed as a cloud variable. Cheers! @tamberg