I hear it all the time. Water is boring so I don’t drink it - I’m too busy - I forgot. Whatever the reasons, many people don’t drink enough water. The bottled water industry has responded with flavored water, carbonated water, functional water, playful bottles and labels, the shape and feel of a bottle, anything and everything to make one of the essentials in our lives – water – easier to consume and therefore to keep us properly hydrated.
As a judge for the 2017 Global Bottled Water Awards, presented by Zenith Global Ltd., in addition to judging categories like Best Tasting Water there is the Best Cap Closure category and I was sent a new device, which I’m impressed by, called the smart cap. Trago, for example, uses an integrated stainless steel bottle with a smart cap that accurately measures how much water you drink. It connects to your smart phone and other wearable devices and allows you to measure your hydration levels. Gatorade also has a similar system. But these are complete systems whereby the bottle and cap are fully integrated and essential to each other. Water.IO has taken this technology further by creating just a bottle cap that fits most water bottles, replacing the cap already on it, transforming most any water bottle into a smart water bottle. This technology is a disposable cap that contains a simple reminder that blinks, vibrates, or sounds an alarm to alert users that it is time to drink water. The smart cap keeps track of when the water bottle is opened or closed and settings can be changed to alert users to drink during a predetermined period – such as once an hour, or once every half hour, and the technology will adjust reminders based on bottle usage so users aren’t reminded to do something they’ve already done. The caps come in various shapes, colors and materials, and lights can come with various colors and sequences, plus there is the ability to add vibration to the reminder as well. They also manufacture a “clip on” version, a cap that attaches to an existing bottled water cap.
Using the Water.IO app connects you to all the major health mobile platforms - Google Fit, Apple Health kit and Microsoft Health, as well as popular fitness devices and applications such as Fitbit and Jawbone. Certainly not everyone wants a reminder to drink water every hour, but beyond the casual user, this technology is ideal for the elderly who may forget to keep hydrated, kids who tend to forget or haven’t developed good hydration habits yet, and for those with medical conditions where keeping hydrated is essential and, frankly, life saving.
Water improves our lives every day, and frankly technology should do the same. With smart cap technology, two worlds come together to make our lives better and easier.