Have you noticed the inherent contradiction in the fact that coffee shop customers are disproportionately techie, while the process for obtaining coffee in a coffee shop remains firmly rooted in the twelfth century?
No, neither had I, but someone with a spare radio frequency identification (RFID) chip and too much time on his hands has invented a solution in search of a problem: the Smart Mug, or SMUG. The SMUG is embedded with an RFID which connects to your ordering history and pre-paid coffee account, so you can order up your "usual" without having to fumble for change or God forbid interact with the human being behind the counter.
Of course, the SMUG has green cred: by re-using your smug, you will reduce paper coffee cup waste and presumably save the planet. The coffee shop can use green guilt to ensure repeat business; wave your Smart Mug in front of the scanner and drink greenly and conveniently with us, or drink out of a paper cup across the street and polar bears will die. Of course, there is a much simpler way to reduce paper coffee cup waste and save the planet: brew your own coffee at home and take it with you. You can still carry a smart-looking thermos, sans RFID, and you will save considerable money (the ultimate green) in the bargain. Reject the SMUG, and you will create one less data stream as you go about your day. And there is nothing wrong with that.