We have developed Sonic Straws, a set of interactive cups that play different sounds when drinking any beverage through its two straws, adding a multisensory layer to the experience of sharing a beverage.

Sonic Straws demonstrates that adding interactive sound can enhance the social experience of sharing a beverage, with users in an in-the-wild study reporting that the system supported self-expression via playful drinking actions, facilitated pleasurable social drinking moments, and promoted reflection on drinking practices.  

Sonic Straws combines human-computer interaction technology and consists of two untethered 3-D cups and associated straws that play different sounds (that the user can also change), depending on whether they are sipping from one, the other, or both straws.

Our work highlights that “gustosonic” experiences, where sound enriches the drinking experience, can be an exciting way to combine technology and food. The resulting research suggests that such a gustosonic approach could amplify entertainment experiences around drinking and possibly even eating. Furthermore, it could highlight the joy coming from sharing a beverage, while also providing inspiration on how to facilitate mindful engagement with what one drinks. Ultimately, we aim to contribute to the enrichment of drinking and dining experiences through playful design.

Prior work

See also our previous interactive food work called iScream! and WeScream!


Wang, Y., Li, Z., Khot, R., Mueller, F. Toward Understanding Playful Beverage-based Gustosonic Experiences. Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies (PACM IMWUT/Ubicomp). Volume 6. Issue 1. March 2022. Article No.: 33. pp 1–23. ACM. Video.


We thank everyone who has helped, especially Rohit Khot and the School of Design at RMIT University.