The Latest Smart Tech Product is... a Cup?

For those times when poor hydration happens to good people.

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How many calories did you drink today? What about sugar, fat, and caffeine?

It’s not something most of us consider outside of Starbucks—land of the complex half-caf, sugar-free, soy latte sans whip—but what we drink can have a real impact on our health.

I can admit that when it comes to measuring the fat content of my afternoon smoothie, I might not be the smartest cup in the cabinet. That title goes to Vessyl, a literal smart cup created by San Francisco startup Mark One in collaboration with design firm fuseproject.

When filled with any kind of beverage, Vessyl not only senses exactly what you’re drinking and how much of it, but also the amount of protein, calories, caffeine, fat, sodium, and sugar it contains. Pretty neat, right?

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Vessyl displays what you're drinking in real time. View Larger

The idea is to track this data, in addition to your hydration, throughout the day. You can select which type of data you want to follow and watch it appear on the side of the cup along with the name of your beverage as you pour it in. A small pillar of light keeps you up-to-date on your hydration levels.

The whole thing syncs to an app on your phone, which also allows you to enter drinks manually. If properly used, Vessyl’s creators hope it will inspire better drinking habits and lead to improved health.

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Vessyl syncs with your phone to track what you've been drinking.

But while we admire the idea, we’re not quite ready to drink it up. There are some notable flaws with the idea of a smart cup.

Vessyl could make for a useful tool in your journey to good health, but it’s no substitute for a qualified nutritionist.

First and foremost, while it’s definitely important to be aware of what you’re putting into your body, beverages are only one piece of the puzzle. If you drink nothing but water all day, Vessyl will reflect that with a low sugar count – regardless of whether or not you also ate six slices of cake. Additionally, it’s vital to remember that different bodies have different needs, and Vessyl can’t magically know all of yours. It could make for a useful tool in your journey to good health, but it’s no substitute for a qualified nutritionist.

It’s also worth noting that this beverage tracking system comes with a hefty price tag, with discounted preorders (available now) coming in at $99 and the full retail price set to $199. Orders are scheduled to ship in early 2015.

Still, I bet your ordinary drinking glass is looking pretty low-tech right now.


Hero Image: Flickr user "13kingdoms" (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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