THE SMART CUP
PCUP is the first true ecological alternative to disposable plastic glasses.
In festivals, stadiums, disco clubs, fairs and concerts as in city night life, countless disposable plastic glasses are filled and emptied just to be immediately thrown away, so that they start polluting our earth and our sea, damaging our health and all other living beings.
We are Lorenzo and Stefano, 27 years old. We want to give each glass its proper value, its own history and more usefulness, making sure that it is never thrown away. We want to replace the disposable plastic glass with a "use and pass" cup: a design object, but a device of internet of things as well, capable of interacting with the real and the virtual world that surrounds it.
We do this by combining quality manufacturing with digital services in a glass designed to be used as a returnable product: this is PCUP, the Public Cup.
PCUP is an unbreakable silicon-made cup to be used in a deposit-based system: a chip in the bottom of the cup and a dedicated app make the payment and restitution of the deposit - and, when applicable, of the drink as well - automatic and instantaneous, speeding all cash operations significantly up. Moreover, the smart glass is able to provide several brand new functions and contents to be found out and to be re-invented according to the context and its needs.
Imagine receiving an unpublished track on your smartphone just because you took a drink under the stage of your favorite artist.
Imagine receiving information and promotions through your glass related to the programme of a festival you are participating in.
Imagine having events and clubs suggested by your glass according to your taste, where to get on with your night.
Imagine being able to read its story, written by its past users and by the places it passed by, and how much plastic it has saved.
THE CHALLENGE AND THE MATERIAL
A returnable cup is a great opportunity, but it is also a challenge, for two reasons:
1. in crowded contexts the use of glass and rigid plastic is forbidden for safety reason;
2. deposit-based use imposes on us a little effort of responsibility in holding the glass until we can return it rather than throw it away.
We solved the first problem by looking for a soft material, which is not in any way sharp, and we opted for silicon. Silicon is not a derivative of oil like plastic, but of silica, the most abundant material on Earth, and it is almost indestructible: it can’t get scratches, it does not become opaque, it can be washed uncountable times even with industrial methods.
We solved the second problem by creating the most beautiful, comfortable and light glass as possible. Our goal is to make you forget you have it in your hands, until you return it to the register or decide to take it with you and put it in your pocket, in your bag, or tie it to your belt. Not to mention, that PCUP digital functions will give an all new meaning to the relation between the users and their cup.
PCUP gives its value back to to the objet, fostering the overcoming of disposable plastic products culture by valueing the experience of drinking.
PCUP creates opportunities for users as well as for the operators that adopt it!
PCUP is also a cost-effective choice! Costs due to its adoption are passed on quite quickly: you can start saving money compared to adopting disposable glasses after only 40 uses approximately, that is after 40 times the glass is refilled, which would require the waste of as many disposable plastic glasses otherwise. And that is true taking into consideration PCUP washing-related costs and transportation and disposal of plastic glasses as well.
HOW FUND WILL BE USED?
To realise our project, we need funds to conclude the research and development phase and create our own industrial mould. This will allow us to produce our glass in Italy, being able to dominate all the variables as porosity, viscosity or color.
With the economic resource of these 6,000 euros we can buy materials, pay professionals and take the necessary tests to complete the prototype phase and industrialize our processes.
So far we use glasses which are already on the market, adding our chip and customizing them with logos and colors, but we have prototyped the glass with the optimal ergonomic shape for drinking, the most functional shape for the preservation of beverages and the wet scrub resistance.
We have added reinforcement rings and grooves as a guide to handle it in the most comfortable way.
We have paid particular attention to the choice of the porosity of the material, which maintains that anti-stress sensation typical of silicone, but which does not make it difficult to remove when it is stacked with the other glasses.
We inserted a chip on the bottom during the injection phase of the material, speeding up production times.
We spent hundred hours of work to make the prototypes, splattering ourselves with every imaginable chemicals, but we now believe we have found the right solution! We also searched for new decorations and customizations technics, both artisanal and industrial, and the results are brilliant: you have never seen a glass like this!
WHO BUYS PCUP?
PCUP srl works mainly with clubs, discos, festivals, tourist facilities, stadiums, cruise ships and so on, but PCUP glass is also ideal for domestic use.
The indestructibility and resistance, the variety of colors and customizations, makes it a convenient supply, especially in contexts where glass is dangerous as boats, sports facilities, schools…
Moreover, PCUP in an iteresting option for those who want a glassware for their home, made of indestructible and original glasses, capable of surviving generation of excited kids, clumsy guests and indelicate dishwashers or for those who want to take it around the world, crushed within their rucksack or suitcase.
The appeal of PCUP surely resides in its ecological potential and in the digital functionalities that it allows depending on the context needs. Besides, we understood from the supporters we already have that our glass is already appreciated just as a design object, even not considering its ecological and digital features.
PCUP is an original gift and an innovative gadget.
For this reason, we thought several retail solutions as rewards for our supporters in this campaign. Get a PCUP glass and enter our community!
WHO IS BEHIND THE PROJECT?
Lorenzo and Stefano, 27 years old. We were in class together in high school. Then for eight years we have chosen different routes.
Lorenzo studied philosophy in Milan, then cognitive sciences abroad, and in one of his trips he thought about how illogic it is to hold a beer in his hand for ten minutes and then throw twenty grams of plastic away that take hundreds of years to decompose.
Talking with friends, he thought that the solution could be a smart, traceable glass, that could speed up the returnable glass operations and at the same time collect the information we all want: what's up tonight, who is playing on stage now, if there are promotions and discounts, who is doing what and where.
Stefano worked in maritime logistics and as a commercial agent between Genoa and Savona, and when by chance he met Lorenzo for a lunch in Genoa he was enchanted by PCUP project.
Together, they trasformed an audacious idea in an innovative reality, contacting suppliers and potential customers, evaluating business models and interpreting the market needs.
PCUP srl was born at the end of February and the first orders are coming, as well as continuous possibilities of development in new directions.
If you're at a costume party, at a fair, at a football match, at a concert or festival you can be sure you'll have a glass in your hand. That glass is a damage, why not make it a value for everybody?
Project created by
We replace the disposable glass in big events with a glass "use and pass”: a design object, but also an internet of things device that is interactive with the environment. PCUP arises from the idea that glass is an object too important to receive so little attention: we give each glass a style, a story and an ecological impact. We value the simplest gesture of drinking a glass of water