Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Hiccups would take first place for “Most Annoying (yet minor) Ailment.” Placing a close second on the list would undoubtedly be a burnt tongue. Think of every time you have attempted the near-fatal first-sip, bracing yourself for the steaming liquid, and then cursing as your taste buds catch fire, remaining numb for the rest of the day. What if there was a way to know when your coffee was warm, yet not scalding… when your hot chocolate was tepid, yet not torrid? Instead of blowing on the surface of your tea and wondering whether it was cool enough, what if you could just look at the cup and know?

The Idea: hot beverage temp-tellers

Practically all hot beverages come with labels warning customers about their potential heat and the consequences that could result from that heat. In addition to that warning label (for liability purposes), temp-teller stickers would be affixed to all hot beverage cups as well.

A hot (red) to cold (blue) gradient, the sticker would react to the heat and let the customer know how warm the beverage was, so the customer would be able to either take a sip or let it cool. Conversely, if someone felt their coffee was too cold, they could pop it in the microwave and heat it back up. The sticker would have degrees listed on the left side of the gradient, with coinciding, user-friendly terms listed on the right (i.e. “boiling,” “hot,” “warm,” etc).

If successful, this Idea could be used on other products: of particular note are baby bottles. The temp-tellers could also be sold in a self-adhesive pack (think stamps), perfect for a bowl of soup or a mug of tea at home.

To learn more about temperature indicating products, check out the labels available at

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