Finland's Muki is a drinking vessel with a built-in e-ink display that's activated only when it's full of coffee.
Latte art has become a common creative way to surprise coffee lovers, but new technologies are enabling more complicated communication through the medium of hot beverages. In the past, we’ve seen Textspresso demonstrate printed edible ink messages using coffee foam as a surface, and now Finland’s Muki is a drinking vessel with a built-in e-ink display, that shows a picture or message only when it’s full of coffee.
Developed by Finnish coffee brand Paulig, in collaboration with creative agency TBWA\Helsinki, the idea enables consumers to change the design of the cup as they see fit, using a companion app. Instead of featuring a fixed message, owners can upload their own image or piece of text to be displayed. Each cup features an e-ink display that is connected to a thermoelectric generator that uses a change in temperature to create electricity. When the cup is filled with hot coffee, the e-ink display is activated and the image is shown. Because the screen requires only a small amount of electricity, the display keeps running even after the coffee has been finished. The video below shows the device in action:
The product is currently in beta testing, with 2,500 people already signing up to trial the Muki, and it’s set to hit Finnish stores in 2015. While the mug provides an entertaining aside to consumers’ morning coffee, could a similar device enable cafés and restaurants to deliver up-to-date information, such as morning news or discount codes, in an innovative way?