Coke or Pepsi? Now There’s a Smart Cup That Can Tell What You’re Drinking

It can tell how much sugar and how many calories are in your beverage too.
Jun 25, 2014·
Patricia Dao is a regular contributor to TakePart. She is a Los Angeles–based serial tech entrepreneur and managing director of the nonprofit Girls in Tech–LA.

A scanner to find out what’s in your food? Check. Apps to find organic products? Check. Fitness tracker to measure how many steps you take? Check. With all the apps and gadgets that can help you stay fit and encourage you to put down the Krispy Kreme doughnut, living a health-conscious lifestyle has become easier than ever. But what about a cup that can tell the difference between Pepsi and Coke? Thanks to the Vessyl smart cup, that exists now too.

Although there are several health apps available that consumers can manually plug in to track what they drink, with the Vessyl, you need only pour a liquid into it. The Vessel’s sensor technology breaks down the fluid to a molecular level, instantly detects the beverage type, and displays it on the side of the cup.

If you’re indulging in a soda, you already know what brand of fizzy dark liquid you’ve poured into the cup. But the Vessyl also calculates the caloric makeup of the liquid and the total grams of sugar, fat, protein, sodium, and caffeine. The cup display can be individually customized to show only the metric most important to you. It also sends the liquid’s nutritional data directly to the Vessyl’s iOS or Android app through built-in Bluetooth technology. That kind of functionality is handy for helping people reach certain health goals, such as losing weight by monitoring calorie intake or regulating sugar consumption.

“Recently we’ve seen activity trackers become an important part of people’s daily lives. But the fact is, what we consume is an even bigger part of the equation when it comes to our overall health,” says Justin Lee, CEO of Mark One, the company that created the Vessyl. “By helping you automatically track what you are consuming in real time, we will empower you to make better decisions when it comes to your health.”

It’s fun and informative to see the cup measure nutritional information for a slew of beverages, but considering that after oxygen, water is the most essential component needed for survival, the device is also handy at monitoring hydration. The Vessyl does that through its Pryme hydration tracking system, which lights up like a meter along the side of the cup and rises and falls based on your real-time hydration levels.

“Most people think that hydration is just about drinking eight glasses of water a day,” says Dr. Mark Berman, Mark One’s vice president of health. “Truth is, it’s a lot more complex than that. Pryme allows us to understand how well we are hydrating throughout the day.”

The Vessyl is Mark One’s first product dedicated to helping us make healthier choices in real time. “We’re really excited about the sensor technology that we’ve developed in-house and think that helping people track their beverage consumption is a great first step since drinks are the number one source of unnoticed calories,” says Lee. The first batch of Vessyl cups is scheduled to ship in early 2015; preorders start at $99.