Join 3,497 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Yep, That's Beer.
June 16, 2014 1:28 PM   Subscribe

Vessyl is $199 app-cup that tells you what you poured into it.
posted by The Whelk (168 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Dear AskMe: Should I drink this?
posted by gauche at 1:31 PM on June 16 [11 favorites]


Seems like what it really does is automated record keeping of the calories (and some other stuff) you drink. That's actually pretty helpful. People will likely be shocked about the amount of sugar, for instance, in fruit juice.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:31 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


Vessyl is $199 app-cup that tells you what you poured into it.

Yeah. So does my mouth.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:31 PM on June 16 [35 favorites]


I think "the strangler" is also the name of a popular 'girly' cocktail drink from Dorne, so maybe not.
posted by cacofonie at 1:33 PM on June 16


ASSUMING you forgot the decimal in $1.99 - huh, neat. Otherwise, uh, nope.
posted by dirtdirt at 1:34 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


The only good thing I can say about this is that they closed captioned their video for the hearing impaired. Otherwise... I'd have a very hard time respecting someone who would drop $200 on a fucking drinking glass.
posted by desjardins at 1:34 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]


Does it check for poison?
posted by ceribus peribus at 1:35 PM on June 16 [13 favorites]


Hey! ... Hey! ... Hey! ... Hey!
posted by mochapickle at 1:35 PM on June 16 [6 favorites]


Two girls, one app-cup.
posted by Pudhoho at 1:35 PM on June 16 [8 favorites]


They should make one styled like a bling-encrusted pimp chalice that features the voice of Lil Jon saying "EYEEEEAHHH!" if the cup contains Crunk Juice, or "WHAAAAT?!?" if it's any other beverage.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:36 PM on June 16 [63 favorites]


What? Why?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:36 PM on June 16


It's actually $99. I mean, they might say the price is $199, but they are selling it for $99, so that's the actual price.
posted by smackfu at 1:36 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


I think they missed an opportunity. With facial hair being surgically implanted, I think a sensor-equipped Bluetooth mustache which records what you drink is just around the corner.

The FlavorSaver. You can thank me later.
posted by hanoixan at 1:37 PM on June 16 [12 favorites]


This will be perfect for my all-Soylent lifestyle! Can it automatically post to my social media accounts every time I take a sip?
posted by naju at 1:37 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]


This seems like one of those things that's Not For Me™.
posted by mazola at 1:37 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


The video was on the nose with popular tech-lifestyle cliches that I thought it had to be a parody but noooooo
posted by The Whelk at 1:38 PM on June 16 [18 favorites]


If only drinks themselves displayed and publicly disclosed calorific information somehow, maybe per 100ml. Then I could get a measuring cup for $1.50 and even have an app that can read barcodes for another $1 for the logging.
posted by jaduncan at 1:39 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


You meant FlavrSavyr
posted by ceribus peribus at 1:39 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


It checks for poison. Except for Iocaine, of course.

I kid.

This really just strikes me as a solution in search of a problem. There's nothing in there that can't already be done with a UPC scanning calorie tracker app.

Oh and they lose big on not being dishwasher safe. Non-stick wouldn't save it in the Plinth household.
posted by plinth at 1:39 PM on June 16


Mine just keeps saying "roofies"
posted by ckape at 1:39 PM on June 16 [5 favorites]


Vessyl is $199 app-cup that tells you what you poured into it douchebag identification device.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 1:40 PM on June 16 [5 favorites]


I thought it had to be a parody too but the FAQ is pretty serious.
posted by desjardins at 1:40 PM on June 16


It's also likely to be a lot more accurate doing it that way; the chances of the cup correctly getting the alcohol percentage of the beer and the amount of sugars is low to impossible.
posted by jaduncan at 1:40 PM on June 16


Maybe this is odd, but I am seriously considering buying this, just so I can pee in it and see what it says.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:40 PM on June 16 [27 favorites]


There's nothing in there that can't already be done with a UPC scanning calorie tracker.

Yeah, unless it's testing for the presence of roofies, I am not innarested.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:41 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


You're drinking Brawndo With Electrolytes It's Got What Plants Crave!
posted by Poldo at 1:41 PM on June 16 [8 favorites]


Maybe this is odd, but I am seriously considering buying this, just so I can pee in it and see what it says.

"DIABETES"
posted by jaduncan at 1:41 PM on June 16 [22 favorites]


I would just pour random stuff in there to fuck with it. Drano, bath gel, wet cat food...
posted by desjardins at 1:41 PM on June 16 [7 favorites]


Yeah. So does my mouth.

That's really not true; your senses will lie to you all the time about the nutritional value of food, particularly fluids.

I'm already enthusiastic about Quantified Life stuff - evidence-based health decisions seem like an obviously good idea to me - and this looks like it might inform a lot of people about how many of their calories come from corn syrup.
posted by mhoye at 1:42 PM on June 16 [5 favorites]


Yeah, that's all I need is for 'whiskey' to be flashing on my 'coffee' cup! >:(
posted by mazola at 1:43 PM on June 16 [9 favorites]


Yep, That's Beer.

The Canadian version is much the same, except if you pour Budweiser into it, it just laughs at you.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:43 PM on June 16 [12 favorites]


That's really not true; your senses will lie to you all the time about the nutritional value of food, particularly fluids.

I know. This is something we are dealing with in couple's counseling.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:43 PM on June 16 [8 favorites]


For it to be useful as record keeping everything you drink has to be drunk from the same cup. That doesn't sound like anything anybody does now, or something that many will be willing to do.
posted by Thing at 1:44 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


What would happen if someone over 30 used it? The video avoids showing this, which makes me suspicious.
posted by BinaryApe at 1:44 PM on June 16 [22 favorites]


"This is different coffee than what you usually get here."
posted by ceribus peribus at 1:45 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


On the one hand,

Your Vessyl will estimate your unique hydration needs and adjust them based on your activities and whereabouts.


On the other hand.
posted by echo target at 1:45 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


Color me extremely skeptical.

High-precision, difficult measurements + nothing that says precisely how the sensor works + lots of hype about design and applications and little about the technology + nobody outside of the company getting their hands on the equipment to test it out =

Well, let's say that I'm betting that it's somewhere on the scale between vaporware and fraud.

I can't say for certain, of course... but I'd take a hefty bet that there won't be anything like this on the market anytime soon.
posted by cgs06 at 1:46 PM on June 16 [12 favorites]


Literally almost everyone motivated enough to pay $100-200 for this is already motivated enough to scan UPCs with their phone. At $15, then it might be useful. At the moment it's just wankery for people.
posted by jaduncan at 1:46 PM on June 16


What would happen if someone over 30 used it? The video avoids showing this, which makes me suspicious.

Carrousel!
posted by mazola at 1:46 PM on June 16 [7 favorites]


I gotta ask myself is $99 too expensive for me to get one and test how precise their sensor is and how accurate their drink database is. Can it distinguish hard cider from beer or juice? Flavored sugar water from regular?

On preview: I would just pour random stuff in there to fuck with it. Drano, bath gel, wet cat food...

Yesss.
posted by muddgirl at 1:46 PM on June 16


the perfect product for the spreadsheet banger in your life. They only own one cup anyway. Any more would be inefficient.
posted by The Whelk at 1:48 PM on June 16


Can you pee in it?
posted by Diskeater at 1:48 PM on June 16


cheetos
great grains cereal
crayons
posted by boo_radley at 1:50 PM on June 16 [5 favorites]


I can't wait until v2.0 comes out when they've mastered the technology to let you read things horizontally. I expect that'll cost more, because everybody knows that

B
E
E
R

is cheaper to show than

BEER
posted by nushustu at 1:51 PM on June 16


I saw this last week and LOL'd. Thank you, Vessyl, I know what I'm drinking. I put the drink in you. This is like a fork that tells you what you're eating. It's like a parody of what passes for clever (to say nothing of useful) these days.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:51 PM on June 16 [6 favorites]


Playte - Weighs whatever is placed on it. Sends information to your phone along with a message reading "You did not pay $200 for a kitchen scale! You bought a playte!"

Fjork - Counts number of meatballs stabbed over the course of the year. Updates your meatball average once per month. Increase your average to unlock achievements!

Sacq - Automatically tweets number of cats in it when it is immersed in water. $150 each.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:51 PM on June 16 [29 favorites]


I totally don't need this. Every time I eat or drink with my mother, she lectures me about all the ingredients, good or bad, that I'm consuming.
posted by Melismata at 1:51 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]


Sure, people claim to care about internet privacy, but simply give them a cup that claims to track caloric content and the first thing they do is piss in it (or worse), automatically sending their most personal private *ahem* data to marketers hell-bent on linking urea content to purchasing decisions.
posted by muddgirl at 1:52 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]


Beer
Beer
Beer
More Beer
Beer Again
Beer
Would you change it up already? Sheesh!

posted by mazola at 1:52 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


Useful, I guess, if you have a habit of drinking unknown liquids poured from unmarked containers given to you by strangers you'll never see again. Thanks, but, no thanks....
posted by HuronBob at 1:54 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


From the WSJ: Sensing technology built into the Vessyl is augmented by a database the company has compiled of a wide range of drinks and what they are composed of, which helps in identifying commercial products.

There are a number of technologies which could do something like this, including a total-internal-reflective FTIR (here's an instrument I've used), but I'd bet they're using a Raman-based system, as they work better with water-based fluids.

My guess at how this works: the sensor fires a laser into the liquid for a very short distance, getting a Raman spectrum. It then compares the spectral fingerprint back to a library it has of pre-measured fluids, and finds the best match using a fuzzy algorithm.

From there it's easy: Once they know what the product is, they can do a table look up to find pre-loaded nutritional information. With a way of determining the level of liquid in the cup (probably optically), they can figure out how many calories, how much water, etc... Note that the cup is a cylinder to make this calculation easy.

The hard part is getting the spectrometer small enough. This is quite a bit smaller than the ones I've seen, though those linked above are more capable, ruggedized units.

The second hard part is getting your library matches to be good enough to be dependable. That takes a few years of work to get right, and, probably more importantly, a carefully selected list of target fluids, not too small, but no too large, either. Say a couple of hundred. That number seems to work well, in my experience. You want to be able to id something simple like Coke whose composition would not vary by very much, but also beer or wine, whose composition could be quite variable. Not trivial, but still possible with clever work on the matching algorithms.

The crazy thing to me is how small this is. The technology exists though. This is how "white powder" detection is done today.
posted by bonehead at 1:55 PM on June 16 [22 favorites]


"That's really not true; your senses will lie to you all the time about the nutritional value of food, particularly fluids.

I know. This is something we are dealing with in couple's counseling.
"

Once I understand exactly what hal_c_on is saying here, I'll probably have to go back and unfavorite that comment.
posted by HuronBob at 1:56 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


I volunteer to play the guy in the infomercial who clutches his head in aggravation trying to figure out what he just poured into a regular glass.
posted by Spatch at 1:56 PM on June 16 [32 favorites]


Pfft. It called Dr. Pepper, Mr. Pepper. It didn't spend six months in Megatrend University to get dissed like that.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:57 PM on June 16 [11 favorites]


This product does not seem to be something I would buy. I'm not sure I know anyone who would.

This technology, though, is pretty freakin awesome.
posted by poe at 1:57 PM on June 16


So what happens if you manage to transubstantiate something in there?
posted by The Whelk at 1:58 PM on June 16 [13 favorites]


So ignoring the lol's at this specific product for a minute...the future potential here is pretty big.

If you could just automatically track just the caloric value of whatever you eat (via similar tech in a plate?) and drink without having to scan any UPC's or enter any data yourself, it would be huge. Anyone who has successfully tracked calories to lose weight knows that this would be a huge boon to dieting. The simple act of just tracking and seeing how many calories you really ingest, and being conscious of that can result in smarter food choices. If that data collection just happened and you got alerts or rewards for good choices, it could be seriously helpful.

Hell, even if this is just fake or just doesn't work, I think having *real* working tech like this in 5 or 15 years could be pretty huge for health management / weight loss.
posted by rsanheim at 1:58 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


I thought it was a parody as well.

Then I started to see the value in it.

Then I started to see the limitations. So, if I drink water, juice, soda, coffee, etc - I'm rewashing the single container through the day, again and again? It doesn't seem to (and I could be wrong) know *how much* you are putting in. This matters a lot for caleries, but also for things like tracking your booze consumption (which is a nifty potential application).

Then, am I supposed to be using this at the bar, at the restaurant? I always order a glass of water as well as whatever other beverage I'm drinking. So now I'm manually entering things into my phone instead of using the device? If I wanted to do that, why would I want/need this device?

And then, back on booze - there are a few different of shapes of beer glasses - FOR A REASON (ask a Belgian if you want more details). As indicated in the commercial, this would be pretty awful for wine (oh, yeah, don't use your 200$ cup for that, instead manually enter it into a piece of software).

I could go on, there are ton of scenarios where this would absoultely fail/be useless... And enough of those scenarios and the entire product becomes more work than not.

But I love the idea behind the tech in this, and I hope something similar, but useful comes out in the future.

One other thing (and this could be said of any first world silly technology, but I'm still going to go there): my 200$ cup would feed a family in a developing nation for how long?
posted by el io at 1:58 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


Can my Vessyl handle boiling water/tea/coffee?

Sure. Your Vessyl can handle anything you typically drink.



What if I typically drink hydrofluoric acid?
posted by phunniemee at 1:58 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]




I volunteer to play the guy in the infomercial who clutches his head in aggravation trying to figure out what he just poured into a regular glass.

"It's hard out there now that we've outlawed all product labeling and information but DON'T WORRY for only three payments of 56900 dodgecoin ..."
posted by The Whelk at 1:59 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


I volunteer to play the guy in the infomercial who clutches his head in aggravation trying to figure out what he just poured into a regular glass.

OH NO! COSTLY CUP CONFUSION... AGAIN?
END BAFFLING BEVERAGE MISERIES NOW!
HERE'S HOW
posted by Wolfdog at 2:00 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


hydrofluoric acid

It does say it's made of glass, so likely no. Sorry, boron-based consumers!
posted by bonehead at 2:01 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


What about blood? Or more specifically, virgin blood?
posted by AtoBtoA at 2:02 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


'Star Trek' Tech Aims to Be Google for Matter - "[The Tricorder] brought us the hand-held scanner that could reveal the properties of unknown materials. Israeli startup Consumer Physics has now made this a reality with the Scio."
posted by kliuless at 2:02 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


they don't provide any technical specs for how it works and judging by the multiplicity of other scams for similar devices (healbe, tellspec) i'm dead certain this thing is complete vaporware that will never ship. the other ones at least make some kind of effort with bullshitting about miniaturized raman spectrography but this one is just like "yo check out this magical cup give us a hundred bucks"
posted by p3on at 2:02 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


So you have a linked account that you manage on your phone to which all data is transmitted? And presumably this means that somewhere there will be data storage of the details of what you are ingesting? And further presumably if someone totally hypothetical was to regularly consume the delicious and healthful blood of innocents this information would at some point be made available to interested parties?

asking for a friend
posted by elizardbits at 2:02 PM on June 16 [12 favorites]


Requires active internet connection and member account at HealthInsuranceSnitch.com. All collected data is property of Vessyl and HealthInsuranceSnitch.com and their partners and associates.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:02 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


OK... here's my guess as to how this thing works (if it works): at the bottom of the cup is a little chamber and they just shine light from a few color (+ an IR) LEDs through it and come up with a color profile.

Betcha that's enough to distinguish between most sodas and a few beers (but not brands of coffees, etc.) Betcha it couldn't tell the difference between decaf and caffeinated coffee, so the caffeine measurements are probably total BS.

I doubt there's any real spectroscopy going on, Raman, FTIR, or otherwise. That would be expensive and big.
posted by cgs06 at 2:03 PM on June 16


The Whelk: "Vessyl is $199 app-cup that tells you what you poured into it. "

If it could detect the presence of date rape drugs like this, then that would be super useful.
posted by zarq at 2:03 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


The product seems a bit silly to me, but I'm not sure I can really judge people who drop $200 on this any more than I can judge someone who drops $500 on a console in order to play Legion of Bloodswords II: Dragon Warriors or whatever.
posted by threeants at 2:03 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


Any other thoughts on how the technology actually works? Small spectrometer seems plausible. But even at $200, wouldn't it be difficult to make a profit if there were an accurate spectrometer in this thing? Maybe there are a few different low cost sensors, thermometer, brix meter, viscometer or dissolved solids meter, ph, that each report back and can give a match based on profiles for similar measurements already performed with the same sensors that were used to build up a bank of drink profiles.
posted by Halogenhat at 2:04 PM on June 16


I can't wait until v2.0 comes out when they've mastered the technology to let you read things horizontally.
Horizontal mode is still in alpha stage development until they resolve spillage issues.

I'm rewashing the single container through the day, again and again?
And does it know to exclude the dishwater from your hydration measurement?
posted by ceribus peribus at 2:05 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


The fact that they are charging credit cards for pre-orders made today for a product that's not coming out until "Early 2015" is a huge red flag.
posted by coreywilliam at 2:05 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


Kidding aside there is this huge boom in products that claim to use scanning technology to tell you what's in your food or drink and they almost to a man all either grossly exaggerating what they can do or are outright scams. (just look at how often this type of thing shows up on Drop Kicker) It's more of a nexus of cultural paranoia and trends, fear of food and the corporations that make it and the idea that everything is just translated into charts then everything will make sense and is perfectible.

Selling people shier anxiety back to them ain't new.
posted by The Whelk at 2:06 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


any more than I can judge someone who drops $500 on a console in order to play Legion of Bloodswords II: Dragon Warriors or whatever.

presumably the console works as advertised.
posted by The Whelk at 2:06 PM on June 16


Somebody passed this around the other day and I assumed it was a joke. It's not?
posted by edheil at 2:07 PM on June 16


Can you pee in it?

At work one time I got a direct mail piece for a drug test called the iCup. I called them up and asked if they were the makers of the I-C-U-P.
posted by snofoam at 2:07 PM on June 16 [5 favorites]


actually Legion of Bloodswords II is just riddled with continuity errors
posted by threeants at 2:08 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


Maybe this is odd, but I am seriously considering buying this, just so I can pee in it and see what it says.

MILLER LITE

Zing! Tip your waitress, folks. I'll be here all week
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 2:08 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]


This is solving like a zeroth world problem, no?
posted by signal at 2:08 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


Laser LED plus multi-spectral sensor is all you need. That can be tiny, as small as a few IR LEDs. Prices on these units are falling too, though I am surprised that they can fit something that small in their cup at $200/unit.

If they are using a multi-spectral library technique that might work well at picking up most narcotics and other drugs. These have pretty strong and unique signatures.
posted by bonehead at 2:09 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


It also can tell how much liquid is in the glass, which implies optics all the way up the side of the glass (weight alone wouldn't be enough since it can apparently detect smoothies), if that changes what sensors we're guessing.

Here's a bit more info from gigaom:
I asked about the liquid-identifying sensors, since that’s obviously the most interesting part of the cup. He didn’t give details beyond saying that the cup has a variety of sensors analyzing liquids. He then offered to let me choose from a wide array of beverages on a table nearby to pour into the cup as a means of testing it.

Since I’m a fan of cocktails, I asked about mixed drinks, but Lee told me the cup couldn’t do mixed drinks yet.
posted by muddgirl at 2:09 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


DOESITMEASURECAFFEINECONTENT?

THEYSAIDATTHESTARBUCKSTHATTHECARAMELMACCHIATOWASDECAFBUTITHINKTHEYMIGHTHAVELIED
posted by zarq at 2:11 PM on June 16 [6 favorites]


cup couldn’t do mixed drinks yet

So basically the cup can only give you information on beverages that you already know all the information about.
posted by phunniemee at 2:11 PM on June 16


I hope it comes in a wide range of colors. I mean, I'll need to keep mine separated from my wife's, my coworkers', my friends' and so on. Can you imagine what would happen when my brother comes to visit? They better monogram these things!
posted by yeti at 2:12 PM on June 16


That's remarkably mutable.
Legion of Bloodswords II: Dragon Warriors
Blood of Swordwarriors II: Dragon Legion
Blood Warrior: Legion of DragonSword II
The Dragonblood Sword II: Warrior Legion
Blood of Dragon Warriors II: Legion of Swords
Warriors of the Bloodlegion II: DragonSword
Legion of Dragons: The Bloodsword Warriors II

posted by Wolfdog at 2:16 PM on June 16 [10 favorites]


I bet if you pour Bud Light into it, it reads "WATER". (Ah yes - now there's a cliche joke made bleeding-edge relevant!) (On preview: damn you.)
posted by naju at 2:17 PM on June 16


So, I'm having trouble understanding the type of person that wants to track their sugar/calories/caffeine etc. and also regularly buys starbucks mocha frappucino and Coke.

Here's a typical beverage schedule for me: Coffee, Water, Water, Tea, Water, Beer or Wine, Liquer, Coffee.

I don't buy any bottled drinks because I find them all a bit disgusting. So, paradoxically, I care about my health so I don't need this device made supposedly for people who care about their health.
posted by vacapinta at 2:18 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


So basically the cup can only give you information on beverages that you already know all the information about.

...and I don't think the jump between "we can discern between these preset liquids and track their nutritional contents" to "we can discern nutritional value of any liquid" (which is what is shown in the video, with the hand-mixed smoothie) is necessarily a straightforward process.
posted by muddgirl at 2:19 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


if you pour Bud Light into it, it reads "WATER".

Or does it read "horse pee"? Maybe this could solve that age-old debate!
posted by bonehead at 2:19 PM on June 16


Combine it with the lettuce-detecting glasses then you will finally be able to always know what something is before you put it in your mouth.
posted by RobotHero at 2:19 PM on June 16


OMG this is hilarious. I love the guy who pours beer in it and then tilts it and it says "beer" and he's like, yep, I DID just pour beer in there. WTH.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:22 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


ALMOST, BUT NOT QUITE, ENTIRELY UNLIKE TEA
posted by Wolfdog at 2:22 PM on June 16 [14 favorites]


This has the potential to disrupt the royal taster industry; venture capitalists, take note!
posted by kewb at 2:23 PM on June 16


Is there something that will stop me from clicking the stop or back button the instant someone uses the word "hydrate" to mean "drink"?
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:23 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


No handle?
posted by Kevin Street at 2:24 PM on June 16


This might be vaporware, but at least some people do work for the company. The main engineer "Dr. Klaus Bescherer" does work on "Analytical Chemical Sensors" according to Queen's University in Canada. However, his LinkedIn says he works for a company called "Paperwhite" since 2013, about the same time the rest of the guys on LinkedIn started working for "Mark One", the companies name. Maybe Paperwhite is the company in Canada?

From LinkedIn:
Mark B.3rd
VP, Health at Mark One
San Francisco Bay AreaHealth, Wellness and Fitness
Similar
Send InMail

Eunice J.3rd
Creative Director at Mark One
San Francisco Bay AreaGraphic Design
Similar
Send InMail

LinkedIn Member
Prototyper deluxe. I turn ideas into reality. #myvessyl #markone www.myvessyl.com
Ontario, CanadaHealth, Wellness and Fitness
Current
Lead Prototyper - Canada at Mark One
Send InMail

Jenny W.3rd
Partnerships at Mark One
San Francisco Bay AreaInternet
Similar
Send InMail
posted by jonclegg at 2:25 PM on June 16


The pellet with the poison's in the Vessyl with the pestle...
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 2:27 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


Wonder what it says when you fill it with gravy.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:28 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


This might be vaporware, but at least some people do work for the company.

I don't think it's vaporware... just that they got caught up in the "can we do this?" and forgot about the "should we do this?"
posted by smackfu at 2:29 PM on June 16


HURF DURF GRAVY EATER
posted by Wolfdog at 2:29 PM on June 16


If only all this effort and thought and money went into producing, I don't know, virtually anything else that might be useful to society. Maybe something that would help get clean drinking water to the huge proportion of the world without it? I'll gladly continue to live in the dumbcup age if other people aren't drinking untreated sewage.
posted by zachlipton at 2:29 PM on June 16


In the cartoon world of my head, the prototype cup audibly identifies only the state of matter.

YOU HAVE SELECTED LIQUID!

Oh cool, it works. Let's try some coins.

YOU HAVE SELECTED SOLID!

Neat! I'll take my coins back and show my investors proof of concept!

YOU HAVE SELECTED GAS!

Well, I'm glad that function is active, now I'll just tur-

YOU HAVE SELECTED GAS!

Wait...

YOU HAVE SELECTED GAS!
YOU HAVE SELECTED GAS!

We spent two hundred thousand dollars...

YOU HAVE SELECTED GAS!
YOU HAVE SELECTED GAS!
YOU HAVE SELECTED GAS!

...and didn't design an off switch?!

YOU HAVE SELECTED GAS!
YOU HAVE SELECTED GAS!
YOU HAVE SELECTED GAS!
YOU HAVE SELECTED GAS!
YOU HAVE SELECTED GAS!
YOU HAVE SELECTED GAS!
YOU HAVE SELECTED GAS!
YOU HAVE SELECTED GAS!

Dammit.
posted by Turkey Glue at 2:31 PM on June 16 [7 favorites]


Heh, I've got an Erdos-number of two from Bescherer; I've published with his former supervisor.

His previous publication list suggests that they're using cavity ring down spectroscopy or some variant of that. I don't know a heck of a lot about it, but it is supposed to be both sensitive and specific, just right for this application. The units I've seen are also very, very small.
posted by bonehead at 2:31 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]


It tells you what you poured into it - and then it tells everybody else.
posted by Pudhoho at 2:33 PM on June 16


holy smokes, bonehead. "...total-internal-reflective FTIR..."

Wait, this exists now? I missed this development where it went from a suitcase sized "portable" lab to a little handheld device that could do molecular differentiation without having to burn a sample and shine a laser through the emitted gas.

Hell yes, future tech.

So want. Much need. Very molecules.

Where's my tricorder, dammit. Apple, get on this.
posted by daq at 2:35 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


This would actually be useful if it could detect adulterants/roofies. It almost certainly doesn't, though, because if it did, that would be the lede in forty-point type instead of "here is a device that you can gaze at wistfully" as the video seems to suggest. So much wist in that video.
posted by phooky at 2:36 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


Prior art
posted by ceribus peribus at 2:37 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


There are a number of technologies which could do something like this, including a total-internal-reflective FTIR (here's an instrument I've used), but I'd bet they're using a Raman-based system, as they work better with water-based fluids.

Sure, but TruDefender costs $45,000. Even the cheapest completely manual Abbe refractometer is like $300 off of eBay.

I dunno, I'd love to be proven wrong, but I'm skeptical.
posted by Comrade_robot at 2:37 PM on June 16


His previous publication list suggests that they're using cavity ring down spectroscopy or some variant of that.

The wikipedia article says this about CRDS (bolding mine):
Expense: the requirement for laser systems and high reflectivity mirrors often makes CRDS orders of magnitude more expensive than some alternative spectroscopic techniques.
posted by Pyry at 2:38 PM on June 16


If bonehead is right, it sounds like some kind of crazy technological miracle that's harnessed to a banal use for wide consumer adoption. Like using angels to remind you to tie your shoes.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:39 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


Why couldn't you hack one of these devices to compromise or manipulate the accuracy of its identification, though?
posted by clockzero at 2:40 PM on June 16


(The Angels Wanna Tie My) Red Shoes.
posted by The Whelk at 2:43 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


Maybe if it had an array of tiny anamorphic downward pointing video projectors embedded in the inner rim which would reflect scenes from the milieu of my choice off the surface of the liquid as I raised the cup to my lips to drink . . . . complete with suitable advertisements, of course.
posted by jamjam at 2:44 PM on June 16


How does it do on the Pepsi challenge?
posted by Obscure Reference at 2:44 PM on June 16


Vessyl is $199 app-cup that tells you what you poured into it.
Yeah. So does my mouth.


And my drinking from your mouth is not a marketable product.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:44 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


Can we just pulluueeese finally get to the device that is implanted to track motion and diet? I am so sick and tired of dragging this bathroom scale around.
posted by breadbox at 2:46 PM on June 16


the requirement for laser systems and high reflectivity mirrors

The Queen's University group that's seemingly part of this project specializes in developing optical fibers specifically to address this kind of problem. Bescherer's most recent publications (1, 2---likely paywalled, sorry) are about the fabrication of microlens fibres. I don't know this well enough to evaluate it, but it is certainly suggestive.
posted by bonehead at 2:48 PM on June 16


It tells you what you poured into it - and then it tells everybody else.

How long before Facebook buys this technology and adds it to their Listening feature?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:50 PM on June 16


These Vessyl people are just overcomplicating things.
posted by ckape at 2:51 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


Sacq - Automatically tweets number of cats in it when it is immersed in water. $150 each.

I would imagine that the Sacq would keep a tally of all the people (kits, cats, sacks, and wives included) you meet while going to St. Ives. But then I'm old school that way.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:52 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


And my drinking from your mouth is not a marketable product.

No but it is a vital part of the Cabal inititation ceremony
posted by The Whelk at 2:53 PM on June 16


Do you think it could recognize jizz? If not, I have no use for this thing!
posted by Mister_A at 2:54 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


it sounds like some kind of crazy technological miracle that's harnessed to a banal use

I have seen CRS units designed to do non-destructive testing of oil in engines. Basically the same problem as this cup, testing chemical signatures of liquids, but in a hot engine pan. The units are small, though not bottom of the cup small and still about 100x the price of the cup. I really don't see how they can do it for this price, but who knows? That was a couple of years ago.
posted by bonehead at 2:59 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


Mister_A: "Do you think it could recognize jizz? If not, I have no use for this thing!"

The bedside beaker model comes out in 2016.
posted by zarq at 3:09 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


We can finally find out what's in a Flaming Moe!
posted by FJT at 3:12 PM on June 16


I cannot under-sell how shocked I was when it revealed that the guy talking about the product was not Fred Armisen.
posted by The World Famous at 3:20 PM on June 16 [5 favorites]


Can we get the blendtec guy to blend together a Fitbit wristband and some soylent and see what this thinger makes of it?
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:29 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


"You have drunk 1.5 feet of intestines today. You have 6,271 swallows to go before you reach your goal of 8 feet of intestines"
posted by zarq at 3:37 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


They tried to make a stackable cup, but the recursion caused them to crash.
posted by parki at 3:43 PM on June 16


If we put the mechanism of this thing inside a Klein Bottle, maybe it'd finally tell us what this whole universe thing is all about.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:46 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


So if I suction cup this to my pits and go out for a run, what does this tell me?
posted by oceanjesse at 3:50 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


The way I see it, the world of uncontrollable diarrhea just got slightly more interesting.

man if I get hit by a bus or struck down by the hand of an angry god or something like that in the coming hours, I will be so happy to have this be my last metafilter comment ever.
posted by item at 4:27 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]


So the pellet with the poison's in the Vessyl with the pixel?
posted by sourwookie at 4:29 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]


Does it also measure the amount of Kool-Aid you drink and how much VC money it expects to consume?
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:36 PM on June 16


"Vessyl, what is in my cup today?!"

GNAWING REGRET OVER THE THOUSAND MORAL FAILURES OF A LIFE HALF-LIVED. OR 'THE USUAL.'
posted by yoink at 4:37 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


Identifying the contents seems silly to me - what would be far more interesting is being able to identify everyone that has drank from the glass throughout its entire history.
posted by chambers at 4:37 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


For it to be useful as record keeping everything you drink has to be drunk from the same cup. That doesn't sound like anything anybody does now, or something that many will be willing to do.

I'm surely not the only person who drinks everything out of a water bottle these days?
posted by winna at 4:43 PM on June 16


For it to be useful as record keeping everything you drink has to be drunk from the same cup. That doesn't sound like anything anybody does now, or something that many will be willing to do.

And wouldn't it also log all the water I'm using to rinse it out between coffee/juice/wine/various fizzy drinks? Not that it matters calorie-wise, but it could think I'm drinking enough water to drown myself.
posted by mochapickle at 4:48 PM on June 16


I'm surely not the only person who drinks everything out of a water bottle these days?

Everything?
posted by The World Famous at 4:55 PM on June 16


Hic
posted by jonmc at 4:59 PM on June 16


We've got a great name.
We've got a great team.
We've got a great logo, and we've got a great name.
Now we just need an idea.
Let's pivot! Let's pivot!
posted by unliteral at 4:59 PM on June 16


What about scorn? Can it detect my bilious scorn?
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:05 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


I'm surely not the only person who drinks everything out of a water bottle these days?

Everything?


Yes, but it is mostly water anyway, so not that helpful for detecting.
posted by winna at 5:07 PM on June 16


Cue Walter Koenig in a TV spot during this year's Superbowl asking people if they've seen his "Wessyl".
posted by Room 101 at 5:10 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


And wouldn't it also log all the water I'm using to rinse it out between coffee/juice/wine/various fizzy drinks? Not that it matters calorie-wise, but it could think I'm drinking enough water to drown myself.

Believe it or not this is addressed in the product FAQ, although i m too lazy to link to it on my phone.
posted by muddgirl at 5:14 PM on June 16


"Vessyl will learn about you and your habits", like everything else in the world now.
posted by PHINC at 5:18 PM on June 16


I can't think of a scenario where the vessyl would be useful but my water bottle (and just logging the calories consumed elsewhere) would not.

I too would pour random stuff in it. Alcohol, acetone, vinegar...
posted by supermassive at 5:22 PM on June 16


On one hand, I don't know anyone who really needs a $200 cup that tells them their beer is, in fact, beer and probably high in calories. On the other hand, someone presumably bought the His & Hers submarines out of the Neiman-Marcus Christmas catalog all those years ago.

Hey, tycoons who can't figure out what to spend your money on: you give me two-hundred dollars, I will not only tell you what you're drinking, I'll do it in verse or Latin (or both). I'll even dress up like a robot if that will increase credibility
posted by thivaia at 5:22 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


Howard Hughes would have really approved of this product...
posted by ennui.bz at 5:30 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


On one hand, I don't know anyone who really needs a $200 cup that tells them their beer is, in fact, beer and probably high in calories. On the other hand, someone presumably bought the His & Hers submarines out of the Neiman-Marcus Christmas catalog all those years ago.

Something something "nuclear Wessyls" joke.
posted by The World Famous at 5:37 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


When I first watched this video I got a creepy "eeew" feeling. I think of the cup as more of a "data collection device" (and so does the maker, positioning it next to the heartrate monitors). The "tell me what the substance is" is just a cute feature to make you collecting yet more data about yourself/your life more entertaining.

Entering the glass of wine you drank in a real wine glass manually completes the picture as you sit in bed and happily smile, scrolling across the list of beverages you consumed today.

Yet another way for you gamify your life and get rid of disposable income at the same time.
posted by Walleye at 6:17 PM on June 16


I grew up feeding quarter after quarter into video games at an arcade, and I want to continue feeding money into more and more boring games as I age, dammit.
posted by The World Famous at 6:26 PM on June 16


"why that's piss!"

"yes, but whose?"
posted by jonmc at 6:28 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


That's really not true; your senses will lie to you all the time about the nutritional value of food, particularly fluids.

I know. This is something we are dealing with in couple's counseling.

Once I understand exactly what hal_c_on is saying here, I'll probably have to go back and unfavorite that comment.


Well me and my senses are in couples counseling now. I'm just sick and tired of my senses lying to me all the time.

Like I smell a pizza and my senses goes "oh, you're craving this because your body needs it".
And I go "really? Are you sure? I'm trusting you..."
And my senses go, "you can count on me".
So I trust my senses and eat the pizza.

Then I go to the doctor and he says "your blood is 40% Wisconsin mozzarella, it should only be like 6%". And I tell him about how my senses told me to do it. And he goes "sure...anybody can say anything to you, but its your obligation to judge for yourself before doing anything".
And I go "yeah, but my senses is in a position of trust, and i trust my senses. are you saying i shouldn't."
And he goes "baller, i put numbers on the board"
"What?", I say.
And he goes "40%"

So in counseling, I'm all like "why does my senses lie to me?"
And my senses is all "I'm not lying, its just my perspective".
And the counselor goes "Perhaps you need to rely on yourself, rather than your senses".

So now I'm going to go to the asian store and buy a whole durian and stuff it all in my mouth and make soap out of it and rub it all over my body. And I'll be like "its just my non-sensical perspective that my body wants durian all over it".

And then I talk to James Brown and he says:
"Hey! Gotta gotta pay back!! (The big payback)
Revenge!! I'm mad (the big payback)
Got to get back! Need some get back!! Pay Back! (the big payback)
That's it!! Payback!!! Revenge!!!
I'm mad!!"

...

Wait, is this the thread about the cup or what the crazy is going on here?
posted by hal_c_on at 7:02 PM on June 16 [12 favorites]


I saw this last week and LOL'd. Thank you, Vessyl, I know what I'm drinking. I put the drink in you. This is like a fork that tells you what you're eating. It's like a parody of what passes for clever (to say nothing of useful) these days.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:51 PM on June 16


You mean like this fork?
posted by runcibleshaw at 8:30 PM on June 16


The bite-tracking HapiFork counts how fast someone eats and gently vibrates if they're going too fast.

I canna hold 'er together much longer, Cap'n! SHE'S BREAKING UP!
posted by mazola at 8:44 PM on June 16


"Okay, plate: WTF is in this taco meat?"
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:07 PM on June 16


Sometimes it takes a constant reminder to make people think about their impulsive behavior. If your cup keeps reminding you that you've just sucked down another ten percent of your daily calories with that single serving of Coke, and keeps a running count for you on your phone, you might not drink as much of the shit, and you might end up saving more than the cost of the cup and losing weight.
posted by pracowity at 11:13 PM on June 16


So what happens if you manage to transubstantiate something in there?

You'd need the Chalyse for that.
posted by vorpal bunny at 11:17 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]


The Canadian version is much the same, except if you pour Budweiser into it, it just laughs at you.

That may be an improvement over the German version, which pees on your forehead and conjures an amputee wearing vinyl lederhosen to do cleanup duty.
posted by toxic at 11:44 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


That may be an improvement over the German version, which pees on your forehead and conjures an amputee wearing vinyl lederhosen to do cleanup duty.

I'm confused. How else is the cup going to communicate "Becks Lemon" in a way that is instantly understandable to everyone?
posted by frimble at 1:50 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


I stumbled on something similar a while ago (it was a massively successful Kickstarter), a handheld pocket molecular scanner. "Food, plants, medication, oil and fuels, plastics and wood are only part of what SCiO can analyze."
posted by yoHighness at 3:39 AM on June 17


I could see some merit in Vessyl if they used the old AOL "You've Got Mail" tagline, where they substituted the name of the liquid for "Mail." That way, you could pee in it, and it would say, "You've Got Urine!"

If the technology gets advanced enough, it could even detect two liquids mixed together. That way, if somebody pees in your beer, it would say, "You've Got Urine in Your Beer!" But it should also be smart enough to know which liquid has more volume in the mixture. That way, if a liquid was more than 50% pee, it would say, "You've Got Beer in Your Urine! You Should Really Get That Checked Out!"
posted by jonp72 at 7:26 AM on June 17


I can sort of see where these guys are coming from. They're betting that the new world of Smart Things is on its way and they want to be on the ground floor. The reason they go on and on about the design is that they have a clear model in mind. They understand that the clear winners in the Smart Things game will be those that design devices that are not only useful but also beautiful. This company wants to be the Apple of the new world of smart things. This is their first product - the iCup.

The problem with this particular thing is that it requires a commitment. It hit me when I saw the woman having a glass of wine and interrupting her wine-drinking to update her app. At that point, it became clear that this Thing is not helping you and making your life easier. Rather, it is requiring you to adapt your life to it. To lug it around with you everywhere. To wash it constantly. To update the app when you violate your commitment to your Thing, as if it was a jealous boyfriend you need to inform whenever you go hang out with your friends.

The new world of smart, distributed things may be coming. But the ones that forge that path will be the ones that drop seamlessly into your life, that you almost forget about until they almost unexpectedly come to your aid. I guess that'd be something like the Roomba or those adaptive home heating systems. But even they have problems and don't have widespread adoption.
posted by vacapinta at 8:43 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: So much wist in that video.
posted by ostranenie at 5:31 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Does it check for poison?

Certain characters in Game of Thrones could really benefit from this technology.
posted by Fizz at 6:54 PM on June 17


Maybe it can tell the difference between petrol and cheese?
posted by fontophilic at 7:49 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


« Older Anita Sarkeesian has released the third video in h...  |  HP scaling memristor and photo... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments