Vessyl from Mark One is a “smart cup” currently in pre-order phase that the inventors claim will be able to identify liquids that are poured into it and tell you what it is and how many calories, sugars, and proteins it has, as well as how hydrated you are. They state Vessyl will interact with popular fitness apps and revolutionize the way people analyze and consume beverages, resulting in better health.

How Vessyl Works

They’re keeping the lid on how Vessyl will actually work. Aside from a slick video on the website showing savvy millenials carrying this Robocup everywhere they go, there have been few people that have actually seen it in person. 

In a Skype interview with Gigaom, the CEO of Mark One Justin Lee, said Vessyl works with “a variety of sensors” to determine what liquid is inside it. He then had the reporter choose from a variety of beverages to be poured into the cup, which then displayed in a digital readout on its side what it was (as in: beer, coffee, soda). Mr. Lee said it could not yet identify mixed drinks. 

Vessyl appears to be focusing on pre-made beverages you can buy in the supermarket. A CNET reporter visited the offices of Mark One and found it strewn with Mountain Dew and Monster Energy cans. In the demonstration they did for him, Vessyl was able to tell the difference between a Coke and a Pepsi. “We’ve gotten weird looks at Safeway,” Lee said.

Vessyl Costs:

Mark One claims when Vessyl goes on sale to the public it will list for $199. In August 2014 their first pre-order for $99 raked in an impressive $1 million in sales. As of this writing (April 20, 2015) there is a second pre-order where the price is $129 ($119 plus $10 shipping) and is listed as just 12 days long. 

The initial press releases for Vessyl said it would be released in early 2015 aka now. Currently, the Vessyl website says fall 2015; however you will be immediately charged for your cup upon pre-order and get to choose its color later.

Their lengthy terms and conditions note, amongst other things: you cannot re-sell the Vessyl, they may change the price at any time as long as they give you 30 days notice, and all lawsuits must be settled via arbitration agreement. When you do get your Vessyl, you will have 30 days to try it out and you can return within that time for a refund.

Bottom Line: Is Vessyl a Scam?

Vessyl received much ridicule upon its announcement, with everyone from PC Magazine to Stephen Colbert questioning its technology, its usefulness, or both.

Indeed, we are highly skeptical that Vessyl will live up to its hype. From our analysis, it seems to have little use other than an expensive party trick. We’d also like to point out:

  • It’s just 13 oz. so it can’t hold much liquids (but ironically this may be the best thing about it)
  • Right now it can’t tell you about any toxins in the liquid, a potentially useful tool
  • All of the beverages it does seem to know already have calories, sugars, etc. on the label as required by law!
  • You’ll look kind of silly walking around with a cup in your hand everywhere you go


  • Tech nerds and early adaptors point out it’s a relatively cheap investment
  • They plan on giving software upgrades so it will eventually have more uses
  • In conjunction with other fitness applications it could potentially help you get healthier

HOWEVER: This is all conjecture at this point because it still hasn’t shipped. If you are the person that likes to be the first on their block to have the latest gadget, you may consider $129 a bargain.

If you are looking for a product that ships today and will help you monitor your liquid intake in “real time” we recommend buying a plain old 13 oz cup. Drink mostly water, limit coffee, and avoid soda. When you need hydration you’re body will let you know “in real time” my making you thirsty. 

Let us know your experience with Vessyl below!