Puffy Sleeves Protect Your Digits From Ultra-Hot Lattes

Coffee addicts are well acquainted with the annoying cup sleeves that coffee shop workers slip onto the to-go cups, allegedly to keep them from burning our poor little coffee-craving fingers. But those flimsy pieces of paper don’t actually offer much insulation and tend to slide all over the place (and more than once have resulted in horrific cup holder incidents in this author’s car). Thank goodness someone is working on this global crisis. That someone is Scott Amron, a brilliant designer and engineer who designed Heatswell, a coffee cup with a built-in insulation sleeve.

The Heatswell cups look just like regular cups, but with thin blue bands around the middle. When you pour a hot beverage into one of the cups, the blue band expands into a cloth-like insulation to protect the hands. They can be made to let a company logo pop out into glorious 3D. As awesome as the cups are for the customers, they could even end up saving companies money since they’re cheaper than cups plus separate sleeves. Coffee slingers wouldn’t have to take precious seconds out of the drink-making process to slip those sleeves onto cups, saving the company even more. We approve of any invention that makes drinking coffee even better.

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See more in Industrial Design or under Technology. July, 2011.