If you're looking to lose weight, or just want to be more conscious what you're drinking, here's a new option: an intelligent cup called Vessyl. It claims to tell you exactly what's in your cup, measures the number of calories it contains, and helps you track your daily and weekly consumption with an accompanying app.
Vessyl is only the latest attempt we've seen at creating an accurate, portable food diagnosis technology (see other examples here and here), but perhaps the most elegant. Designed by Swiss wunderkind Yves Behar, it's sleek and smooth, and meant to be carried in the open.
"We designed it to be your companion," says Justin Lee, CEO of Mark One, the company behind the cup. "We think of it as mostly for home and work environments, where we spend most of our time. But you could use it other times as well."
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Whenever you pour something into the Vessyl, a display gives a readout on the contents ("coffee," "beer," and so on), then a calorie count for that item, as measured by sensors in the cup. The app gives more detail, including protein and sugar totals, and a sense of how well you're meeting your dietary targets.
"If you track what you consume, the likelihood of you achieving your health goal is much higher," Lee says. The cup sensitizes people to what they're consuming, he argues, and helps moderate intake, if necessary.
Unfortunately, Lee wasn't happy revealing details of the sensing technology inside the beaker. So, we'll have to take his word that it's accurate. (He'll only say that it's like quality-assurance equipment from a peanut butter factory).
More fundamentally, though, we wonder whether the world is ready for the Vessyl. It looks like a nice product, sure. But do we really want to carry around a cup all day? Aren't there easier ways of staying in shape?
We'll see. You can't order an early-bird $99 version here. Or wait for the product release early in 2015. The price then will be $199, Lee says.