I’m a slow coffee drinker, and I’m already used to drink half the cup with the coffee being cold by that time. I didn’t even know that there was a solution for this, but today I saw a company building smart mugs to address precisely this problem. The folks at Ember have been working for eight years to design and develop a smart device that keeps your beverage as hot as you desire. Enter “the world’s first temperature control mug.”
Ember is offering a smart travel mug and a smart ceramic mug for home use. Their devices look neat and can even speak with your smartphone or smartwatch. They are charged on their very own charging coaster and give the promise of being a sweet luxury for your coffee or tea enjoyment. Based on their FAQ, a single charge can last for an average of two hours on the go. This could vary depending on factors like how hot you like to drink your beverage or what the temperature outside is like.
Ember Travel Mug for the road warriors
The Travel Mug is designed for people on the go. It fits all regular cup holders in your car and has a push-to-open lid to avoid a burning catastrophe as your either driving, riding, or walking about. If you don’t know what else to spend your money on, you can also upgrade to the 24k Gold Halo Lid for another $99.95 because why not.
There is a small display on the side of the smart mug too so you can check if the beverage has already reached your preferred drinking temperature. The Travel Mug has a dimension of 8 x 3.12 x 2.75 inches and can hold up to 12oz. of liquids. The Travel Mug costs $149.95 and comes with a charging coaster.
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Ember Ceramic Mug for working from home
Unlike the Travel Mug, the Ceramic Mug is available in black and white options. With the dimensions of 4.2 x 3.25 x 4.3 inches, the home version of the Ember mug is a little smaller than the traveling version. That’s why the Ceramic Mug holds only up to 10oz. of liquids. Unfortunately, this version does not seem to have a display.
While the overall design of the Ceramic Mug is a little more straightforward than the Travel Mug version, the pricing has also been critically reduced. The Ember Ceramic Mug costs almost only half the price of the traveling version and can be purchased for $79.95, of course, also including the charging coaster.
So is it all perfect?
It might be or might not be. Not having it tried out myself I rely on the information that I am provided with. Granted, the marketing material and the specs look alright to me. On the other hand, you have a couple of online reviews that primarily target these two aspects.
One point of critique is that the smart controls are not that smart after all. Both on the iTunes store for the iOS app as well as on the Google Play app store the majority of users gave the app a one-star review and claimed that they have to re-pair the systems too often or it doesn’t heat to the right temperature.
It goes without saying that some people who are adding negative reviews just didn’t get to set the solution up correctly or have smartphones that aren’t compatible, but I want to discard that possibility as we are talking about the majority of users here and not just a handful of stray commenters. To stay fair, I also want to add that using a smart device to control your Ember Travel Mug or Ceramic Mug is only optional. It does also work without a connection, but it’s less fun and certainly less “smart.”
The other aspect that some criticize is the time for how long a single charge the smart mugs can maintain the temperature. People who have a commute of an hour time complained that it wouldn’t even last until the end of their ride.
While Ember explicitly states that the actual time how long a charge lasts, varies based on several factors, it’s clear that they should continue their R&D to build a product that can keep beverages hot for longer than now. I find it interesting, however, that nobody has raised complaints about the pricing. I suppose that they hit the sweet spot here of what people are willing to pay for such a solution.
Interested in gadgets but not in return procedures?
While the Ember Ceramic Mug is not cheap and the Travel Mug is even more expensive, This isn’t meant to be a witchhunt either but be careful when buying expensive products and check out some of the customer reviews too. I still like the idea of this product, but they have some more work to do.
You can buy them via the Ember web store or get them in a local Starbucks shop, but if you want more flexibility for potentially returning any smart mugs that you are not satisfied with, I’d go for Amazon and their customer-friendly return policies just in case. Here’s the Ember shop on Amazon.com. Let us know how it works out for you and share your thoughts below in the comments. Thanks!
YouTube: Ember | Original Travel Mug Ad
Photo credit: All images and embedded material has been provided by Ember.
Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I’m Chris the founder of TechAcute. I write about technology news and share experiences from my life in the enterprise world. Drop by on Twitter and say ‘hi’ sometime. 😉