A 13 oz cup costing $199 can tell you exactly what you are drinking and measure your nutritional intake. The technology hasn’t been detailed, but is likely based around a spectrometer.
Vessyl’s makers claim it can track the content of anything you drink from it, including calories, protein content and caffeine & sugar levels. An accompanying app lets you set dietary or other medical goals. According to the makers, the cup can even identify individual brands and products, rather than just the general drink.
The product has been in the works for much of the year, but is now coming to the end of a pre-order period during which the price is reduced to $99.
It’s clearly a very niche product that’s aimed at people who want or need to track their liquid intake and can afford to pay to remove the hassle of remembering to manually log it. It seems somewhat limited by being restricted to drinks, but a similar product (from another manufacturer) that covers food is still in development and will cost in the range of $800.
Vessyl’s makers will only say that “While we don’t get into the specifics of how the technology works, we can tell you that there are sensors built in throughout the entire Vessyl. These are in the same realm of technology as quality control in the food industry.”
It’s seems a safe bet that the key tool is a spectrometer, which measures characteristics of light. The food analyzer TellSpec (and likely Vessyl as well) work by beaming a low-powered laser, measuring which protons in the light are absorbed and which are reflected, and using this to decipher the chemical compounds in the material, in turn identifying it.
The Vessyl device runs from a rechargeable battery, with a 60-minute charge giving five to seven days use. The cup itself is made of “non-stick” glass and is safe to use with boiling liquids or to put in the fridge (but not freezer.) In something of an understatement, the makers “highly recommend that you avoid putting your Vessyl in the microwave.”