I'll be the first to admit that I don't hydrate as often as I should, which is stupid since drinking plenty of water during the day is one of the easiest ways to stay healthy. Luckily for me (and for many of you, I'm guessing), a group of students from the University of Minnesota have developed a smart water bottle that syncs to a smartphone to track water intake and glows if you are not meeting your daily hydration needs. The students have started a Kickstarter funding campaign that is going like gangbusters: They have received pledges of almost $110,000 to a goal of $35,000 at the time of writing, with 39 more days to go.
The reusable, 24-oz HidrateMe water bottle is made from BPA-free Tritan plastic from Eastman Chemical (Kingsport, TN). In addition to the co-polymer's safety—extensive tests have demonstrated that it is free of estrogenic and androgenic activity, says Eastman—"we selected Tritan because of its strength, its natural clarity, which we can refine to a frosted finish, and its common usage in reusable water bottles, which helps smooth out design for manufacturing," Alex Hambrock, Head of Product Development told PlasticsToday.
A sensor inside the bottle automatically tracks how much water is consumed throughout the day and sends that information to the Hidrate app on a smartphone. When it's time to take another gulp, the water bottle glows.
The user-friendly app calculates how much water you should be drinking each day based on your height, weight, age and activity level. It even integrates with wearable devices, and adjusts the daily water goals depending on the temperature, humidity and elevation of the user's surroundings.
HidrateMe formed at the University of Minnesota, when CEO Nadya Nguyen pulled together a team for the Google Startup weekend in Minneapolis in September 2014. In addition to Hambrock, the group consists of Coleman Iverson, Daniel Worku and Alexandra Feeken. They built the water bottle in just 54 hours and won third place in the competition, leading them to eventually quit their jobs and work solely on their product.
They hope to start shipping the bottle by the winter of 2015.