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dave

This "smart glass" probably foretells the end of humanity as we know it...



Christopher Taylor, one of the helpful members of Engadget's product research team, alerted me to this interesting new product today: A smart glass called "Vessyl" that apparently knows what you're drinking and can automatically track it.

As someone who loves the whole quantified self movement and enjoys pouring through data, I feel like I should be really excited about this. Hey! More data to pour through!

Then again, as someone who has laughed off ridiculous concepts such as smart forks and toothbrushes, I can't help but feel like this is taking things a little too far. If society collapses, it will probably be because our smart plates and cutlery became self aware.

Via: https:­/­/www.myvessyl.com/

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10 replies
frankspin

I'm so skeptical of it properly identifying different drinks.
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joelhamill

How will it differentiate between all of the different sodas? Can it detect the difference between Coke and Pepsi? Is this it's true purpose?

Sorry for the bad jokes. I need to eat something.
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frankspin

That's what I've been trying to figure out. There are so many different drinks available just in the US alone, are they putting each one into a cup to identify its properties?

Also in some states it's mandatory to display the caloric information, and people still order those 1500 calorie frozen Starbucks or whatever drinks.
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dave

Agreed. This is totally a gimmick.

Right?
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TgD

Goodbye days of slipping a bit of booze into a normal drink...

NO I'M NOT DRINKING STRAIGHT VODKA
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frankspin

I realized my bigger issue with this is the fact that we're at a point where people are worried about counting the calories of the liquid they consume. If you're trying to lose weight you should be drinking water, no two-ways around it. Additionally there is so much hidden inside of a drink that they fall into the classic issues of calories rich vs calorie dense, meaning if a drink is loaded up on sugar its very likely that it's caloric value is low which means this cup will do nothing for you.

Devices like FitBit, FuelBand, and now Vessyl are often targeted at the demographic who may not exercise often but are trying to lose weight. The thing is these all focus on steps and movement, while "calculating" calories burned but do nothing to properly help and inform the users about what really matters most: the food you're putting inside you. Calories in/calories out matters the most, but they need to do more to educate on the values behind those numbers.

For example, using FitBits food log a Grande Frappuccino is only 240 calories which seems fairly harmless. However, it also contains 40G of sugar which is 16% of your daily intake of carbohydrates. Add onto that most of their breakfast options are carb heavy, in your first meal you're probably exceeding 30-40% of your intake of carbs and sugar. That is a lot of carbs in the first meal of the day for someone who may not need it, and likely does not need it.

I'm making a sweeping generalization with that example, but I'm also trying to consider who the target demographic is for these devices.
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joelhamill

When I went to Starbucks for breakfast regularly my order was normally a venti (lg) latte with a sausage breakfast sandwich. I use Lose It! to log my food (or as much as I can because sometimes I forget) and that shows me 790 calories. If we're looking at carbs then it is 64g carbs which is 21% of the DV but, I have no idea if those are good or bad carbs. I think that nutrition education should be a bigger part of the calorie counting device club.
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joelhamill

I can see it now. You're sitting down for a nice dinner of baked chicken with a salad and side of mac n cheese. You pickup up your smart fork and go to cut into the chicken. Your smart fork won't let you cut into the chicken and says, "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."
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joelhamill

Joking aside. This seems to me to be design for design's sake. There are plenty of services (Lose It!, MyFitnessPal, Fitbit, etc) that have calorie information on a wide range of foods and drinks, and they all sync with multiple fitness devices and services. I don't understand the need for a $200 cup that tells me what I'm drinking when I have a free service (Lose It!) and a Fitbit ($99) telling me the same thing with added information. Is it because it is seamless? Or because it could be made?

I can understand the want for a friction-less device that helps you understand the calories that you are ingesting but, a $200 mug is probably not the device that will make a large impact on American society.
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kris

I think this could be a good idea, actually, in making it easier to measure your caloric intake and hydration levels without having to manually keep track of it in a notebook (how old fashioned!) or on a specialized website. However, it's not hassle-free: do they honestly expect people to empty out their Starbucks coffee into this thing every time, or even weirder -- to pour the contents of their beer bottle into it at the bar?

On that last note, it occurs to it would be a good idea if they could pull in data from other websites that you use to log your intake, like Untappd. That way you don't have to pour your alcohol into the Vessyl every time for the site to keep track of your booze habit.
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