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iOS-compatible household items have become so commonplace that they scarcely warrant attention in the news anymore, but Vessyl, a new smart cup conceived by Justin Lee and designed by Yves Béhar, is something of an exception. Dump virtually any kind of drink into the unit, and it can tell you exactly what you're drinking and yield some associated nutritional information.
Granted, most of us are already going to know what we're putting our cups, but Vessyl could come in handy when you're trying to figure out the calorie content of handmade beverages such as smoothies. In an interview with The Verge, Lee stated that the cup can tell the difference between strong and weak coffee by measuring the caffeine and provide similar information about sugar, protein, calories, and fat.
Such claims apparently hold up. Ellis Hamburger of The Verge had an hour to try out the device and noted that it successfully identified a dozen different drinks, ranging from Crush orange soda and Tropicana orange juice to Vitamin Water XXX and water. "Yes," Hamburger said, "this cup knows the difference between Gatorade Cool Blue and Glacier Freeze."
Some of this information shows up on the cup itself; far more detailed information is available via the accompanying iPhone app. If you're on a diet, you can use the device to keep track of measurements such as how many calories you've consumed and your hydration level and then set your goals accordingly. Not all of the information is limited to what goes in the cup; the app is reportedly compatible with a wide range of fitness trackers.
The cup has room for up to 13 ounces of liquid and recharges wirelessly so you don't have to worry about ruining it in the wash. It also comes with a spill-proof lid and lasts around six days on a single charge. Unfortunately, we probably won't see it until 2015, but you can pre-order it now for $99. That might be a good idea if you're interested, as the price is expected to jump up to $199 when it hits retail.
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.