Smart bottles: we’ve reached peak smart

10 Jul 2015

There are a few things you can rely on most humans of means to achieve: breathing, hydrating and eating.

Beyond that there are some question marks – fitness, healthy diet, safe decision-making – but breathing, drinking water and not going hungry is something most people are good at.

The major obstacles for the three above are often beyond our control – economics, pollution and availability. But not, it should be noted, should forgetfulness ever be included.

But that hasn’t stopped the tech-thirsty world from creating numerous products for people to buy. Say ‘smart’, ‘app’ and ‘healthy’ and you can pretty much sell a cactus as a piece of underwear if you want. In the ‘smart bottle’ world (it’s a world, trust us) it is becoming a crowded workplace.

Smart bottled water, episode 1: The Trago

Lets start with the Trago. Jack and Davis, two brothers from Austin, Texas who are “passionate about hydrating” created this device.

Passionate about hydrating sounds wrong.

Anyway, it’s a bottle top that is smart, syncs to your apps and is healthy. The holy trinity.

The duo raised US$75,277 on Kickstarter, claiming this as a “first”. As you will see, this is not entirely true.

Smart bottled water, episode 2: The Hidrate

“We all have something in our life that we want to improve,” starts the promo video for the Hidrate. What follows is expected worries about hydration, health concerns etc. – but with a couple of nuances.

It’s a “connected water bottle” with something smart, an app and ways to tell you how much water you need.

One minor USP seems to be that the bottle glows when you need a drink, which is a gimmick that fits into the internet if things’ cosmetic evolution very well. Watch it glow!

Amazingly this product has raised US$530,000 – it targeted US$35,000 – with the weekend still to go.

Smart bottled water, episode 3: BlueFit

In recent years, there have been a couple of less successful smart bottles. Perhaps they were ahead of their time. Perhaps not.

For example, the BlueFit raised just (!) US$75,000, half of its goal, at the end of 2013. Its explanation was wonderful, proclaiming that half of the entire world don’t drink enough because “many of us wait for our brain to tell us we’re thirsty”. Stupid brains.

The video has vanished, but here’s a picture of the smart bottle that helps you keep healthy, with the help of an app. There’s that trilogy again…

Bluefit - smart bottles

Smart bottled water, episode 4: The Hug

Last year The Hug fell short of its own Kickstarter goal, landing US$28,000 in September.

“The Hug is a convenient sensor and app solution that tracks your water intake and coaches you towards optimal hydration.” Need we go on? Well, we will.

The Hug isn’t a bottle, it’s a sensor that wraps around a non-smart (dumb?) bottle and measures how much water you have had.

Of course, if none of the above tickle your fancy you could always try filling up a water bottle from a tap – any clean bottle you can find with a working lid – and drinking from it. Maybe do it a couple of times a day.

Who knows, you might just stay hydrated.

Main image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic