Ever wonder how much caffeine is in that cup of coffee, how much sugar is in that orange juice, how many calories in that smoothie? A new device claims to be able to tell you all that and more: Vessyl, which is, believe it or not, a smart cup.
The Vessyl looks like a fancy travel mug for your coffee, and that's more or less what it is, except instead of a simple non-stick surface on the inside, there are sensors that minutely analyze the contents.
Not only will the 13-oz cup itself light up and tell you what's in there (in case you forgot what you just poured), but it will then begin sending information to your smartphone. Open up the app and you'll be able to see how many ounces of fluid are in there, how many total calories, how much you've drunk today, and so on. It can even tell the difference between brands of beer, or so they say.
How is it possible? The FAQ page offers no clues, but the most likely answer is an optical sensor, a miniaturized version of what laboratories have used for decades to identify the purity of chemicals or the contents of a solution. The tiny sensor would take its reading, send it off to the cloud for identification, and then give you the results.
Sure, you could just keep track yourself, but if you really want to know whether you've been drinking enough water, or how much coffee is too much, or how many of your daily calories come from drinks, the Vessyl could be a very helpful device.
The "specialized glass" inside shouldn't affect taste, and the battery, which lasts five days or so, is charged wirelessly when you put the Vessyl on its "saucer."
Of course, the device is only available for pre-order right now, so there's no way to be absolutely sure it does what it's supposed to. You can spend the $99 now or wait for the reviews to hit — at which point the price will inevitably rise.