May 1, 2012 at 2:42 PM ET
Thirsty for a beer? Then belly up to the KegDroid, an Android-powered robotic bartender that will authenticate your identity and, assuming you’re allowed to drink it, pour you a pint.
If the gadget develops a following, it could be headed to a pub near you, where it could free up bartenders to collect empties and wipe up spilled drinks.
For now, the machine is in the capable hands of its developers Paul Carff, a long-time homebrewer and a senior developer advocate at Google and his Google software engineer buddy, David Saint-Claire.
The so-called “fancy tap” is powered by a Xoom tablet running the latest version of the Android operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich.
It confirms your identity with a near field communication (NFC) badge and, if accepted, you are logged into the KegDroid via their Google Plus account.
Authenticated imbibers are presented with a choice of beers and sizes -- a 1-ounce taster, as well as 8- and 12-ounce pours. On the backend, flow sensors and other gadgetry fill the glass with the selected brew.
In the demonstration video, Carff selects an 8-ounce IPA that, regrettably, pours very foamy, suggesting that human bartenders will be kept plenty busy wiping up spills.
John Roach is a contributing writer for msnbc.com. To learn more about him, check out his website and follow him on Twitter. For more of our Future of Technology series, watch the featured video below.