Does everything need a battery in our new World?

whatevermugCan we not manage to use a glass without a battery?

That was the question that flittered across my mind when I saw the Waterever Smart Cup.

Now there’s no question that this is one beautifully designed mug. It looks all sleek and racing-car-like. And it tells you how hot the contents are. And there’s an app to make sure you are drinking enough:

Fill in your personal information in the iPinto app, and Waterever will automatically calculate the right intake for your age and body profile, track your intake and remind you when you should be drinking more.

And that’s where it lost me in a welter of introspection. You see ‘back when I were a lad’ we used a biomechanical feedback loop called ‘feeling thirsty’ to work out when we needed to be drinking more.

Do we really need a mug laden with circuitry and an app to tell us when to drink something? And while the industrial design is beautiful (“We worked hard on the design of Waterever to create a product that is immediately appealing while also creating an effortless user experience.”) much of the need for the design and the ‘effortless user experience’ is driven by the inclusion of all that technology. I can’t help thinking that a couple of thousand years of evolutionary design has led to a pretty effortless drinking experience from any of the range of glasses in my cupboard.

I’m not really knocking Waterever – no if I wanted to do that I’d be using NextBottle as an example; but I am questioning if the relatively low-cost of sensors and other production costs is leading us to a place where a product isn’t real unless it has a digital read-out and is linked to our smartphone. And where experiences aren’t real unless they are quantified and presumably shared with an appropriate hashtag. And I do question whether that is a clever or sustainable place for us all to be heading to.

Now if only I could attach a digital read-out to that idea and see some metrics on it. Hmm… Twitter….

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