Smart Mug Displays Temperature, Yay or Nay?

I was browsing through my feeds yesterday morning and found this Kickstarter project that kinda turned me onto the idea of assistive tableware. Imagine plates that tell you to stop eating because you’re fat, or a rice bowl that flashes red whenever you inadvertently stick your chopsticks upright – total faux pas. The Smart Mug displays the current liquid temperature via a series of LED lights.

At first glance, I thought the idea was brilliant. Why? I drink a lot of teas and the most common categories of teas (black, red, white, green, floral) all brew and steep at different temperatures. Take for example white teas. Their delicate leaves scald and go bitter if you pour boiling water over them. Most tea houses use very hot water to brew white teas. Smart Mug helps you know when the optimal temperature has been reached.

I immediately tweeted about it but already received quite a few tweetbacks about how unattractive the design was. Some felt the LED lights looked cheap and the mug itself was aesthetically boring. Others felt there were better solutions. To that end, I’d agree. What do you guys think?

Designer: Evita Krumina, Kickstarter