Those of us who are watching our waistlines often pay detailed attention to what we see on our plates, but not to what we drink. Hydration (or lack thereof) is also a key part of staying healthy, but iPhone apps to date have usually focused on how many glasses of water you think you've consumed during a day. Vessyl (pre-order, US$99) is an amazing piece of technology that has will not only tell you exactly how much you're drinking, but can detect what you're guzzling and calculate caloric input from that information and display it in an iOS app.
Vessyl is the brainchild of Mark One, a startup that hopes to create other products to "inspire you to make healthier choices in real time." Vessyl was designed by frog alumni and founder of Fuseproject Yves Béhar, who is also the chief creative officer of Jawbone.
Vessyl looks like a standard 13 ounce tumbler. The exterior body of Vessyl comes in three colors, with a choice of eight colors for the spill-proof lid. There's a subtle display on the outside of the glass that tells you what's inside. Built into the inside of Vessyl are sophisticated sensors that communicate data to the iOS app on your iPhone.
Launch the app, and you can see how your liquid consumption during the day has progressed. Not only do you see what quantity you've consumed, but what you've been drinking by type of beverage and brand. The built-in sensors "analyze the content at the molecular level", so it knows whether you've poured a New Belgium Fat Tire Ale or a Starbucks Mocha Frappucino into the container. If the beverage has caffeine, sugar, or caloric value, it can tell you exactly how much of each item you have ingested.
Let's say that caffeine is important to you - you need some to keep you awake in the morning, but you don't want jitters later in the day or sleeplessness at night. You can view a "lens" or focused app display that can tell you exactly how many milligrams of caffeine have passed your lips.
Tracking calories? You'll find out just how many calories are in that nutritious smoothie you're gulping. Need to watch your sugar intake? Vessyl lets you know if you're getting a little too much sweetness for your own good.
All the tracking is done automatically. Vessyl runs for about 5 - 7 days on a single charge, and charging is done through a wire-free charger in about an hour.
2015 promises to be the year that the wearables market gets rocked with the introduction of the Apple Watch, which will - among other things - track activity. Vessyl adds more pieces of critical data to the connected self. At this point, you can pre-order a Vessyl for $99; while you won't have a connected cup under the Christmas tree, it's still a great gift idea.