The world of temperature-controlling mugs is already a pretty big one. Head toward any vaguely outdoors locale and you can find a few eco-friendly mugs for sale that promising all sorts of heat retention or cold-keeping for your commutes. But the crowdfunded Ember mug is a bit smarter than the average bear – and looks pretty cool. You don’t have to use the hOmeLabs Portable Air Conditioner to lower the temp of your drink.
Created by a team out of California, this mug looks like a garden variety hiking mug with a push-to-open lid, but the surface is actually hiding some serious electronics. The logo is a touch-sensitive button that you can touch to activate a hidden LED display at the bottom of the mug which will show you the current temperature. If the number feels a little off to you, you can twist the base of the mug to adjust that temperature setting.
Twisting the base will activate a high-capacity battery hidden within, which will operate a tiny heating unit within the thermally insulated container. As you can guess, this is for heated beverages only. The Ember cannot freeze your cold drinks to keep them frosty, you’ll need another thermos to do that. But it can keep you from burning your mouth or winding up with a lukewarm cup of coffee.
The whole Ember setup works with a phone/Apple Watch app (Bluetooth 4.0 required) that allows to 1)remotely adjust the temperature of your beverage and 2)allows you to name your mug and create presets for a variety of drinks.
There’s less information on how the Ember charges, but we know it includes a cordless charged coaster that you will definitely want to carry along with the thermos: A full charge takes around one and a half hours.
It’s a design made for the car and desk, not the trail, but it’s still pretty smart. The campaign has been fully funded, but a variety of contributions are still open. You can nab a single mug for $129.