As if your smartphone did not already serve as the hub for so many functions, there is now another feature you can control with an app: the temperature of the beverage in your mug. The Ember company makes mugs that keep your drink hot (135 degrees plus) and allows you to adjust the temperature from your phone. Do we really need this?

The “smart mug” is not cheap ($129) nor is the travel mug ($179) and more discouraging than the price is the weight. Both are chock-full of electronics and could be used as exercise equipment if the fascination of controlling the temperature wore off.

But what this latest gadget signals to me is that apps are becoming more central to almost everything out there. It widens the gap between those who can afford a smartphone and those who can’t and also creates a chasm between those who are technologically savvy and others who are not as comfortable with this way of operating. Seeing yet one more item controlled via phone says to me that organizations should be investing in a first-rate app rather than treating it as an afterthought or optional.

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