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‘Masu’ maker actualizes the warm glow of a cup of sake

by Kazuaki Nagata

Staff writer

A significant number of the exhibitors at the recent Maker Faire Tokyo, held at Tokyo Big Site, proved that traditions can be upgraded without shorting any circuits.

A prime example would be the wooden drinking cup created by Gifu-based Ohashi Ryoki Co.

The square cup resembles the traditional masu in all aspects, but when lifted and tilted to drink, it emanates a warm glow from its base.

The glow comes from LED lights installed under the cup’s bottom and a concealed acceleration sensor detects the tilting motion.

According to Hiroyuki Ohashi, the company’s CEO, the idea emerged from an hackathon that firm had initiated to find a way to implement low-energy Bluetooth in its products.

“I didn’t think it was interesting if it just glowed . . . (but) when it actually does, it’s really beautiful,” said Ohashi, adding that this could provide romantic ambience for drinkers out on a date.

The firm plans to start selling the product in October. When it debuts, users will be able to toggle the light and change the light’s color via a smartphone aps, Ohashi said.

The masu square is expected to be priced around ¥15,000, he said.