Shut Up and Take My Money: The Smart Mug
Currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, the Smart Mug is a high-tech twist on the traditional coffee mug. Using LED light indicators on the side of the mug, the user of the Smart Mug can keep track of the current temperature of the liquid within the cup. The Smart Cup tracks temperatures between 122° F up to 203° F (50° C up to 95° C).
Ideally, this allows someone to drink their coffee or tea at the optimal temperature, thus avoiding a scalding hot burn or a tepid, lukewarm sip. The cup also provides visual indicators of recommended temperature levels for drinking tea and coffee.
One of the most interesting features of the mug is there’s no battery within the device. It’s completely run on thermoelectric power. In other words, the heat of your drink powers the mug. The creators estimate that the mug will be operational for at least 10 years utilizing thermoelectric power. Also, there are no operating parts that make contact with the liquid within the mug and it’s completely waterproof as well as dishwasher safe. The mug has a capacity of about 12 ounces; basically enough for a regular cup of coffee.
Targeting March 2014 for the launch window, the creators have priced the mug around £30 ($48). There are less expensive alternatives that indicate heat distribution in the cup, but nothing that offers up a specific temperature reading unless you want to use a larger, stainless steel thermos.