The ultimate mug. Keeps your drink at the ideal temperature. Fine bone china, completely automatic and dishwasher proof.
About this project
Glowstone Heated Smart Mug – Fine Bone China
Introducing the Glowstone, a household mug that keeps your drink hot to the last drop. Life just got that bit more luxurious!
The ultimate in mug design, the self-heating Glowstone smart mug:
- Keeps drinks at the perfect temperature for you to enjoy for longer
- Looks and feels like a quality household mug
- Made from Fine bone china – for great tasting drinks
- Works fully automatically
- Illuminates to show when the mug is heating
- Switches off automatically when you’ve had your last sip
- Charges wirelessly with at least two uses per charge
- Comes with a stylish Qi charging coaster that is compatible with other devices such as modern smart phones
- Is dishwasher proof
- Has a cool base which prevents heat damage to delicate surfaces
- Works straight out of the box
The way we drink our tea and coffee has changed. The many distractions of modern life mean we often leave our hot drink to become lukewarm, or worse, cold. So all that time and effort in preparing it goes down the drain. It was clear that the household mug needed to be brought up to date.
For tea or coffee to taste its best, it has to be hot – ideally 60°C (140°F) to 65°C (150°F). When you make a hot drink in a standard mug, it will only remain in the perfect temperature range for a couple of minutes.
Many of us now like our coffee prepared with the latest machines and coffee pods. The problem is, they don’t stay hot for long enough. To optimise the coffee percolation, many modern day machines slowly pass water at 85-90 degrees through the grind. They then dribble the brewed coffee out of their nozzles and into a cold mug, By the time we get to drink this carefully prepared and expensive beverage, it’s colder than we would like.
The Glowstone mug means there’s no more:
- reheating in the microwave and ruining the taste.
- pre-heating your milk for your coffee.
- burning your green and herbal teas just so you get to enjoy them hot.
- rushing to finish your drink whilst it is still hot.
- metallic or plastic after taste from drinking your hot drink out of a vacuum flask.
This is not a just a mug to keep your drink hot. This will make your coffee and tea taste better. You will never want to use your old mug again.
By combining the best ceramics with the latest technologies, we have designed a mug that will hold your drink at its perfect temperature, right down to the last sip.
Easy to use
The Glowstone mug is fully automatic. There are no buttons or controls. The mug turns on when it detects a hot drink, lights up when the perfect temperature is reached and turns off when you take your last sip, or after 30 minutes The Glowstone mug looks to give you the perfect mug of tea and coffee, without any compromise or intrusion.It has been designed for use with all popular coffee machines as well as, of course, cafetieres and kettles.
Automatic switch off – The Glowstone mug is designed to switch off when you take your last sip. You’ll see the light go off as you take it.
Dishwasher proof – The Glowstone mug can be treated like any other mug. As the electronics are sealed in the base, it’s fully dishwasher proof. In case you are wondering, the mug knows when it’s upside down so will not come on when it’s in the dishwasher.
Wireless recharging – The Glowstone mug comes with a stylish Qi coaster. The coaster can be used to re-charge other devices such as smart phones. The coaster comes with a standard micro USB lead and power adaptor (plug). However, the charger can be operated from any USB socket such as those found on your laptop or computer.
Fine Bone China – It is widely acknowledged that drinks really do taste better from fine bone china, the most expensive and highest quality of all the ceramic mug materials. The smooth surface improves the taste of tea as the tannins don’t bind to the walls of the mug as they do with other materials such as plastic and metal. Fine bone china is a strong, lightweight and slightly translucent material. This means that the Glowstone mug feels the same weight as other similar sized standard china mugs. Its translucency means that we are able to indicate the state of the mug through its walls. When off, it looks like just a mug, however to see it illuminate through the seemingly opaque walls as it kicks into action.
Ideal Drink Temperature
It is widely accepted that tea and coffee should be consumed between 60-65 degrees and in a fine china mug to fully appreciate their flavours. The Glowstone mug will keep your drink at this temperature right down to the last drop.
Glowstone have carefully considered every aspect of the ‘perfect cuppa’ during the design process and have brought you a mug that we believe makes tea and coffee taste better than you have ever had it before. Now you get the time to slowly enjoy your coffee at your leisure.
It’s not only tea and coffee that tastes better out of the Glowstone Heated mug. Herbal and fruitinfusions, hot chocolate, soup and all other hot drinks taste great out of it. Green and some herbal teas especially come into their own when drunk out of a Glowstone mug. These are recommended to be brewed at 75 to 80 degrees and for a longer time than a normal cup of tea to allow the flavours to come out. The Glowstone mug ensures that you can now brew these properly and still enjoy a nice hot herbal tea after. Bliss!
The form and function of the Glowstone mug has been refined over the last 18 months. Its conception was inspired by wireless power. Being able to completely seal all its workings into its base opened up a world of possibilities. Finally, we were able to make the much loved household mug come to life,
Within a 22mm (0.9″) deep recess in the base, we have sealed two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, a film thermistor, a heater, a wireless power receiver and other sensors and electronics that make it fully automatic and easy to use.
One of the biggest obstacles in the product development was being able to both effectively measure and pass heat through the base of a ceramic mug. As you may be aware, it is not easy to do this through an insulating material with an uneven surface. After various iterations of mugs, heaters, thermistors and software we found a combination that was able to deliver all the functions that we intended to include.
During the development, we found that there is a large variation in the temperature people make their drinks at. In a lot of cases, drinks that are added are already below the ideal drinking temperature. Therefore the mug has 2 automatic modes of operation.
- For drinks that are above 65°C (150°F) when poured, the mug will wait until the temperature drops to 65 degrees before turning the heater on.
- For drinks below 65°C when poured, the mug will look for a plateau in the temperature profile before turning on, so you still get the drink in its hottest form, even if it isn’t in the ideal temperature range. This works especially well for people who like espressos, as the smaller volumes off coffee will heat up until they are deliciously hot again, even after you have added cold milk!
Don’t worry, we have set the bottom temperature threshold of the mug to ensure that it won’t turn on under a hot tap when being hand washed.
When you are finished, the mug will automatically turn off in the following ways :-
- When it detects your last sip
- The heater has been on for 30 minutes
- Detecting the mug is empty
- Being placed on its charging mat.
- Being turned upside down.
If you have keen eyesight, you may have noticed that the handles on the mug in the video have changed. A new handle has been developed that is both sturdier and ergonomically designed, so the mug feels more balanced. We will be only be offering the new design of handle, unless the feedback from our backers shows a strong demand for the existing handle design.
What’s in the box?
The Glowstone mug and charger will be shipped with full CE certification.
The Glowstone mug is the same size, capacity and weight as many household china mugs.
About the inventor
The Glowstone mug was invented by Glowstone’s founder, Thomas Gostelow. Educated as a mechanical engineer, in his first year after graduation, Thomas invented a new medical procedure and filed 4 patents. The medical advances that he pioneered at the age of just 23 continue to save lives today. He has worked as a product designer ever since.
Thomas’ flair for innovation was clear from the outset. His ultimate ambition was to be able to bring his own ideas to life himself. Throughout the rest of his career, Thomas was careful to gain the key business skills needed to help fulfil his goal.
He hopes that you will support his journey.
Risks and challenges
Any project could encounter unexpected obstacles, however we have put together a team experienced in bringing products to market, to help us deliver a quality product on time.
As an experienced product designer, the inventor was able to call on his numerous manufacturing contacts that he has made over the years. Working with tried and tested suppliers has taken a lot of the risks and unknowns away from of the production of the mug.
The electronics were developed by Doctor Stephen Mangan. Specialising in power electronics and embedded software, Doctor Mangan’s skills have proved invaluable in creating both ground-breaking and robust electronics for the mug.
The certification side has been managed by a QA manager of over 30 years experience. He has already successfully guided the mug through pre-certification and will attain full CE certification towards the end of the campaign. As Glowstone are only using parts that already have CE accreditation, it would be able to self CE certify the mug. However, Glowstone have opted to have the mug fully independently assessed to give its customers that extra peace of mind.
The product has been thoroughly tested. A number of field trial units have been used every day for nearly a year now. Any issues that these trials showed up have since been resolved. Accelerated life testing on the mug has quantitatively shown us that the mug is consistent in performance over hundreds of runs.
Shipping and Taxes
One challenge we have faced is on shipping and taxes. As we are based in the UK, we pay VAT on all sales within the UK and the EU. This means that all of our backers in the EU will have NO EXTRA CHARGES to pay.
For our non-EU country sales, we were looking at options that will allow us to deliver with taxes paid, however the couriers we have spoken to impose a surcharge larger than the shipping costs, which is not cost effective for us or for our backers. We will continue to investigate ways of ensuring items arrive at the door of our non EU customers with no extra charges. However, as we are not yet able to guarantee this, we have decided to offer a DISCOUNT on the shipping costs to cover sales taxes that may be charged by overseas customs.