Things you never knew you needed

Stephen Colbert has some fun with an expensive new electric gadget.

(This clip aired on July 14, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)


  1. nichrome says

    That was very funny!

    If you want to find a lot of other things you never knew you needed -- but that you actually end up wanting (and many are very useful), check out the offerings from Lee Valley.

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    Check out their FAQ page, which lots of information about teh vessyl:

    What is the best TV series ever?

  3. Reginald Selkirk says

    I’ve gone over most of the Vessyl web site. I can’t find any description of how it allegedly works. Specifically, I wanted to know if it actually has sensors to characterize what’s in the cup, or does it just read the bar code on the bottle or can?

  4. moarscienceplz says

    From the FAQ:

    Your Vessyl has sophisticated sensors that can analyze the content at the molecular level. However, the focus of Mark One is to help people improve their nutrition, so at the moment, the sensors are not intended to detect trace contaminants.

    They also claim it can often distinguish particular brands of beverage. I find it hard to believe a $200 product can discriminate that finely, particularly without adding any chemicals to the drink. I suppose it does some kind of spectroscopic analysis, but to be able to both detect and measure fats, sugars, caffeine, alcohol, and enough other things to actually tell what brand of beverage it is just boggles my mind. I have much difficulty avoiding the conclusion that it is mostly hype.

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