Smartphones may soon help quench your thirst

Published On December 9, 2010 | By Tomás Bosque | New Product

Today’s smartphone can play many roles in your life—mobile payment device, gaming gadget, personal trainer, and it can even act as a calling device (imagine that). But could your smartphone soon help quench your thirst as well?

Technology product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants, www.cambridgeconsultants.com, based in England, announced the development of the i-dration water bottle. Working in synch with a smartphone, this water bottle is designed to help athletes maintain optimum levels of hydration by alerting the user when it is time to take a drink of water during an activity.

The bottle gathers data about the individual, which it transmits to a smartphone app for the purpose of giving realtime advice about hydration levels; e.g., it’s time to have a drink of water and/or you are now fully hydrated for your performance.

But how can a water bottle make intelligent decisions? Sensors embedded within the i-dration bottle monitor the external temperature, drinking frequency, and quantity. This data is then sent via Bluetooth to a smartphone. Using the built-in accelerometer and gyroscope of the smartphone, the device measures exercise levels. This, combined with data obtained both from a heart rate chest-band worn by the user and from some user-inputted vitals on the smartphone, allows the bottle to perform an assessment of a user’s hydration levels.

Using all of this data, the bottle displays a flashing a blue light to alert the athlete that he/she needs to drink more water.

While the product is certainly eye-catching and unique, Cambridge Consultants says one of the primary reasons for developing such a product was to demonstrate the full potential of mobile applications and how they can be brought to life through dedicated devices, or ‘hardware apps.’

Rachel Harker, the business development manager at Cambridge Consultants, expounds on this thought, saying, “Most people still perceive an ‘app’ to be something that performs a certain task, whether it’s checking the weather or the latest sports results, in a virtual world. However, we believe that in the next 12-18 months we will see a plethora of new dedicated ‘hardware apps’such as the i-dration drinks bottle, that will work in tandem with a smartphone to enhance a range of consumer products and services.”

Harker also says it is not always practical to use smartphones for the collecting or displaying data. Rather, wireless hardware apps have the potential to increase the versatility of smartphones. As more consumers turn to their smartphone as an exercise tool, a product like this could have a great impact on the market.

via [Connected World Magazine]

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