It's a device that could lead to the demise of the pub, or one that could soon mean long distance lovers could enjoy the sensuous delight of sharing a tipple over the Internet.

Scientists have come up with a hi-tech wine glass for couples who want to get intimate even if they are on the other side of the world.

When one person picks up the Wi-Fi glass, sensors are triggered that make the other partner's tumbler glow warmly with red digital clock-style light emitting diodes (LEDs).

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston who developed the prototype glasses, told New Scientist magazine that communal drinking was a vital part of social interaction.

The designers suggested that the technology could also be used to check hospital patients or elderly people are drinking enough water.

The glasses will be unveiled at the Conference on Computer-Human Interaction 2006 in Montreal in April.