Say you’re already late for work, and you groggily pour a cup of joe into your mug but forget it on the kitchen counter. With Ember’s Travel Mug, your phone will yell at you to turn back now and grab the caffeine.
The people at Ember showed off their tech to me during the Pepcom showcase at CES on Wednesday. The mug itself is equipped with technology specific to Apple devices and is the same kind of tech found in Air Tags. The mug uses Apple’s Find My feature, which is meant to help people keep track of items they often lose, such as their keys or their AirPods. That tracking feature has proved to have multiple uses beyond finding lost items. AirTag devices have also been used by stalkers to track people, often without the victim even knowing.
The people at Ember demonstrated that their device still knew the location of a mug they left back in their hotel room, though we were half a mile away in a different casino. The app gives the address and approximate location of the device. The company reps also said the Travel Mug 2+ contains a speaker that can play a sound when you’re searching under the pillows for your lost mug. And now if you think you’re coworker is stealing your mug, you have a way to catch the thief red-handed.
Melanie Peralta, Ember’s director of PR, said their company has had a strong relationship with Apple for years now. The company’s app has integrations with Apple’s Health App to help users determine how much caffeine they may be consuming.
The device is an update to the 12-ounce Travel Mug 2, and will retail at the same price of $199.95. The mug has a heater that’s meant to keep liquids hot for three hours when its not on its charging dock. It also has a heads up display that will say when the mug is empty or allow users to adjust the heat. The new device has an anticipated Spring release date.
Despite the mug’s new features having obvious functionality for people who often forget their coffee at home, it does introduce the possibility for abuse. Since AirTag’s inception, Apple has been routinely rolling out firmware updates meant to stop people from stalking using its geolocation technology. Although many of those updates are for the AirTag technology itself, the company has created some features on the app side to give users notice if there’s an unwanted AirTag on their person. Apple has also created an app for Android devices that will notify if there’s a tracker on their person.
A mug is a little more difficult to slip onto someone’s person without their knowledge, but it’s good for everyone to be aware that this kind of thing is out there.