Set to be revealed at CES 2011, the i-Dration drinks bottle is a device that works in synchronization with a smartphone. The idea here is that the device’s app is able to encourage athletes to drink when they need to, rather than just when they feel thirsty. This is important because it turns out that drinking too much water can have as bad an effect as not drinking enough water altogether. The company behind the project, Cambridge Consultants, have developed the i-dration in order to demonstrate that “hardware apps” will be the future. Hardware apps are devices that work in tandem with a smartphone.
The device works by giving advice based on real-time data gathered by the bottle, which is transmitted wirelessly to a smartphone application. Intelligent sensors in the i-dration bottle can be used to monitor the external temperature, drinking frequency and quantity, and this data is then sent via Bluetooth to its user’s smartphone. The phone’s inbuilt accelerometer and gyroscope can measure exercise levels, and by ‘fusing’ the data from a heart rate chest-band and information pre-entered using the smartphone interface (such as height, age and weight), the application can perform an assessment of a user’s hydration levels. The i-dration bottle then responds accordingly by flashing a blue light if the athlete needs to drink more.