Yes, everything is 'smart' now. But this thingamajig actually sounds kind of handy.
Fed up with trying to keep up with the rapidly diminishing temperature of your Styrofoam bodega cup of joe? Dreading that cold, sad last sip of bean water that reminds you that it's time to leave the house and enter the harshness of the world? Well, if you have 80 bucks lying around, there's a new, high-tech solution to these problems ,and it’s called Ember.
It looks like a plain old white ceramic coffee mug, but the Ember cup is at the cutting edge of coffee-heating technology. Yes, it's "smart." According to its website, the mug not only allows you to control the temperature of the heating element at its base, but to do so remotely via a smartphone or Apple Watch, ensuring that your last sip is as hot as your first.
It has a 10-ounce capacity, heats up to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, is “fully submersible under water” and, according to FastCo Design, the mug can maintain heat for up to eight hours, then “simply rest it atop the included conductive coaster” to recharge it.
This isn't Ember's first stab at the "smart coffee cup" market; they released a black travel mug two years ago which reportedly sold out at Starbucks despite its hefty price tag—though it wasn't quite as homey as this ceramic one, which claims to be the first of its kind on the planet.
“It’s the Tesla business model,” Ember CEO Clay Alexander told FastCo Design. “We launched with a premium product. [The travel mug] had a digital screen and phase-change cooling–it’s space technology in your hand. At $150 it had amazing sales, but it hit a ceiling.”
So there you have it; we are now living in a world where coffee, much like humans, can be kept alive way longer than nature ever intended, all thanks to technology.