This Smart Glass Takes The Heat For You

New Green Smart Glass is intended to make getting the perfect cup of coffee both easier and more eco-friendly.

We all do it - ask for our coffees "extra hot" or "at the temperature in the molten core of the sun". Then, we whine and moan about how our beverage is "too hot to drink", and impatiently wait for it to cool down.

Fortunately, designer Ruan Chengzhu has chosen to use his design-oriented mind for the purpose of good, rather than mocking us all as we purse our lips and hope for the best as we tip our steaming cups to mouths.

In a flurry of eco-friendly fanaticism, Chengzhu has created the Green Smart Glass, a tumbler glass that takes and stores all of that wasted heat energy that is coming off of our extra-mocha-double-frappo-whatever as it cools. It does this through simple ingenuity - the inside of the glass is coated with a thermoelectric semiconductor that absorbs the releasing heat energy and stores it in the cup as electricity.

A meter on the side of the cup tells the user the current temperature, so they can watch as their "it's burning my lungs! My luuunggs!!" coffee drops to a level of human biological tolerance. Once it does, the cup can be switched from energy collection mode to energy spend mode, and be used either to cool or heat the beverage.

Technical details: getting your cold on.Technical details: getting your cold on. 

So, a few uses of the cup will get a good storage build of energy going, allowing drinkers to either keep their cold drinks cool without the need for ice, or keep their hot drinks, well, warm rather than scalding, using the electricity stored in the cup.

This is one of those clever inventions that most of us will sit around saying "I totally could have invented that. It's so easy!" Well, you didn't, so keep enjoying the lovely view from your parents' basement windows as you sip your Chengzhu-cooled beverage.

Sure, there could be a few issues here such as long-term energy storage and insular decay, as well as the whole "how the hell do you wash this thing" question, but overall we're quite impressed by Chengzhu's brainstorm.

It's a real glass act.

Source: Yanko Design 

Oct 23, 2011
by Anonymous

In my opinion this is a gimmick & end-to-end it's eco-UNfriendly

The energy to cool your drink comes from the drink. That means it cools down faster because in order for a thermoelectric module to function it has to take energy from something via a temperature differential.

Thermoelectric also means there's a rechargeable battery involved..which means additional toxic chemistry in manufacturing and additional landfill. Also some locations impose an extra "disposal fee" for batteries and/or electronic devices.

Again, in my technical opinion, it is more efficient and more ecologically sound to just use superior-insulating materials to keep your drink warmer for a longer period of time. A quality thermos will serve you well for YEARS. If you need to cool your "molten-hot" drink just prior to taking a sip, then you decant a bit into the (usually) built-in cup while the rest stays hot.