Color-changing coffee lid says 'safety first!'

Coffee lid turns color to indicate that contents are too hot for drinking, or if the lid isn't on tightly and might cause a spill.

Color-changing coffee lid
This shows the lid's transformation as hot liquid inside turns it bright red. If the lid weren't secured tightly, part of the brown ring around the bottom would be red, indicating the problem spot. Smart Lid Systems

As I sat today with my morning cup of coffee, waiting for the powers of that sweet, sweet caffeine to take hold of me, a co-worker sent me this announcement. The latest issue of Business 2.0 contains a list of what they call the 29 best business ideas in the world. Among them, a color-changing coffee lid that warns sleepy drinkers of some of the common dangers of coffee consumption, namely coffee that's too hot, and an unsealed lid. Welcome news for this groggy blogger.

The lid looks like a regular plastic lid, like the ones placed on top of to-go cups at the coffee shop. It's normally dark brown. But if the coffee or tea inside is hot, the top portion turns bright red. The red will fade to brown as the beverage cools down, so people who've used the lid a couple of times will presumably learn what stage of coloration indicates their preferred temperature.

In my opinion, though, the best feature is that the lid can also indicate whether it's properly secured to the cup. When it is, a dark brown ring will appear all the way around the lid. When there is a spot that's not tightly secured, that area will turn red, not only showing that there's a problem but also showing where it is. My light-colored shirts are already grateful.

The lid is made by Smart Lid Systems, which is working with Thermo International to ramp up international distribution this year.

The concept isn't new. Color-changing spoons, sippy cups and rubber duckies for the bathtub have been around for years, helping parents make sure their kids are safe. Now the grownups can get in on the fun, too.

 

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