June 18, 2014
Vessyl: A High-Tech Cup
Remember the Pepsi Challenge? That chain of commercials for Pepsi that had people taste unmarked glasses of Pepsi and Coke to see if they could tell the difference and to see which one they preferred? I always found those commercials rather odd, as I have always found Pepsi and Coke to have very distinct tastes, with Pepsi being sweeter but with a bit of an aftertaste and Coke having a much harsher bite to it. Personally, I like both. When ordering, I will usually say, “Coke,” but that is because, growing up, that is what I called sodas in general. Even so, I know a lot of people out there who have had trouble telling the difference, and for some of the more health conscious among them, not knowing which one to drink can be a bit of a problem.
Well, now there is a cup that can tell the difference for you. Not only that, it can detect caffeine, calories, fat, protein, sodium, and sugar content in the drink, how hydrated you are, and it helps keep track of your liquid nutrition over time. This is the Vessyl, a high-tech drinking glass brought to you by Mark One, the company co-founded by Yves Béhar, who designed both the Jambox speaker system and the Up activity tracker for Jawbone.
The Vessyl is made of a sturdy matte plastic that is smooth on one half of the glass and ridged on the other. One of these ridges is a single-line vertical display that will show the user the nutrition metric of their drink shortly after it is poured into the glass, as well as how close the user is to achieving their ideal hydration level. All other information the cup can collect is gathered by a companion app for Android and iOS devices which it connects to via Bluetooth 4.0. Yes, you read that right, the cup connects to Bluetooth. That is a sentence I never thought I would ever write. Judging by the example prototype, the display is activated by lifting the cup and tilting it slightly, just as you would do to drink from it.
The Vessyl has a five to seven day battery life and can be wirelessly charged in about an our via a specially designed coaster that comes packaged with it. Designed with the health conscious in mine, the Vessyl is currently available for pre-order for $199, or $99 if you were an early backer of the project. To me, that sounds incredibly steep for a high-tech cup, but I suppose that this just proves that I am not part of its intended market. Of course, who the intended market might be, I am not sure. The health conscious gadget-lover? The dieting futurist? Who knows?
Overall, I would say that the Vessyl is one of those things that I find neat, but also a bit silly considering its asking price. Save for the super-rich, I find the idea of a 200 dollar cup a bit ridiculous, even if the cup can wirelessly connect to my phone and tell me what it is I am drinking and just how bad it is for me.
Thanks cup, but I really did not need you to tell me that.
You know, the more I think about it, the more I am sure that the Vessyl is not for me. I think I would feel like my own cup was judging me, and that is not something I want while trying to enjoy a tasty beverage, no matter how many calories it might have.
Image Credit: Mark One