Ember CEO Clay Alexander

Ever wonder what time of day most people drink coffee? According to Ember CEO Clay Alexander, peak coffee-drinking time across the country is 10:51 AM.

This insight was shared by Alexander, the inventor of the Ember mug, during a live on-stage interview at the Housewares show in Chicago last March. In the same interview, which you can hear as part of this week’s Smart Kitchen Show podcast, Alexander shared ideas about other ways his patented precision heating technology could be used:

Precision Plates: Ember has a working prototype and plans to release their smart plates in high-end restaurants.

“It just looks like a dinner plate, but it’s magically keeping your hot food hot and your cold food cold,” said Alexander. The plate would have heating zones, that would allow cold potato salad to stay cold and heat food like steak.  According to Alexander, if you move your steak, the heat will track under the plate.

Medical Applications: According to Alexander, the spoilage rate for vaccines is over 40% in developing countries. Because of this, the company has been looking at using Ember’s temperature control technology to help get vaccines to doctors and reduce spoilage.  The company has already built a prototype that uses the company’s semiconductor powered refrigeration technology to keep up to forty vials refrigerated at a constant temperature. The “box” would be battery powered, controllable via a smartphone, and portable.

“You could strap that thing on the back of a moped and send into a village in Haiti and save lives,” said Alexander.

Baby Bottles: The company also sees its tech working in baby bottles. Alexander realized this would be a good application when taking care of his own daughter and he had to manually put baby bottles in hot water to warm them up.

“With an Ember bottle, you pull it out of the fridge, and there’s a little base you couple to the bottle. When you couple it, it heats the milk and formula to 98.5 degrees, which is body temperature.”

You can hear the full interview by hitting play below, downloading directly to your device or by subscribing in Apple Podcasts (or your preferred podcast player).

If you’d like to see Clay Alexander talk about how he came up with the idea for the Ember, he’ll be at the Smart Kitchen Summit in three weeks. Just use the discount code podcast for 25% off tickets. 

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