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Aug. 2, 2014

A new Vessyl on the horizon

by Kalin Vassilev, Technical Staff
With each passing day, spurts in scientific advancement are steadily propelling the world into a science fiction novella. Regrettably, technological development these days doesn't seem to be furthering jetpacks or flying cars, but has rather focused its efforts on ensuring device interconnectivity and ubiquity in our everyday lives. This has been reflected through the emergence of wearable tech, smart phones and activity trackers. At home or on the go, you'll find yourself plugged into the awaiting World Wide Web. Mark One, a San Francisco-based start-up tech company, has taken this technological shift a step further with the introduction of Vessyl, a new 'smart' cup capable of keeping track of your hydration habits and nutritional needs.

Vessyl sports a futuristic design with a simple yet appealing display. Courtesy of The Verge
Vessyl sports a futuristic design with a simple yet appealing display.

The Vessyl sports a very sleek and smart design reminiscent of a small thermos. Apart from keeping your drink's temperature constant, it is capable of identifying virtually any kind of drink that you pour into it. It can even tell a part orange juice with pulp from orange juice without pulp, Pepsi from Coke and Gatorade Cold Blue from Glacier Freeze. As novel as this identification functionality may be, it does not seem particularly useful. The real power of Vessyl lies in further analyzing beverages for nutritional information. This includes the sugar, protein, caffeine and fat content of any drink poured into the cup. This functionality works just as well on a homebrewed tea as it would on a brand name, since the device relies on built-in sensor analysis as opposed to looking through a database of known drinks.

All data that Vessyl analyzes is eventually uploaded to the user's mobile devices, allowing him or her to keep track of nutritional intake. Vessyl can be set to focus on specific components of this general nutritional information. For example, setting it to a fitness regime would make its analysis focus on protein intake. Mark One also proved insightful when it made the Vessyl capable of syncing with other activity trackers, ultimately giving people a comprehensive report of their day-to-day intake of nutrients and expenditure of energy.

Vessyl can sync to mobile devices, allowing the user to examine the nutritional characteristics of his or her drinks. Courtesy of The Verge
Vessyl can sync to mobile devices, allowing the user to examine the nutritional characteristics of his or her drinks.

The Vessyl is sure to impact the fitness tracker market, yet it has the potential to reach beyond that. It enters new territory thanks to its ability to appeal to more than just health nuts or novelty collectors. If nothing else, the Vessyl is certainly a step forward, a shift that will bring the technology market towards this previously unexplored avenue of personal devices. Who knows, the Vessyl might find itself in your backpack soon enough, reminding you just how those casual glasses of soda are adding up.



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