Built-in WiFi, touch sensors, and wireless charging capabilities. No, we’re not talking about a self-driving car here. We’re talking about Gululu, a new interactive water bottle.
Proper hydration is key for good health, especially for children. A recent study by Harvard’s School of Public Health found that more than half of all US kids and adolescents are not getting enough water each day.
With an endless assortment of soda drinks on the market, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for parents to convince their children to drink plain water.
So American startup Bowhead Technology has developed the Gululu interactive bottle to gamify water drinking for children, aiming to make it fun.
Their Kickstarter campaign reads: “Imagine a modern-day Tamagotchi and a technology-laced water bottle designed to encourage kids and adults to stay hydrated. That’s the Gululu Interactive Bottle in a nutshell.”
It comes with a screen where the user can see a virtual pet evolving as hydration goals are achieved. When they first get the bottle, children pick their virtual pet from a roster of aquatic, tentacled creatures. A daily drinking quota is then establish, based on the kid’s weight, height, and location.
The software adjusts the amount of water intake, taking into account natural water loss and the amount of liquids consumed through food.
Parents also get to download a separate app where they can track and follow their child’s drinking habits.
Bowhead’s premise is to develop technology that can help create tighter bonds between family members, saying: “The founders, as well as our entire team at Bowhead Technology, deeply believe that high-quality companionship between a parent and their child is essential to a child’s wellbeing.
“We want to be a part of that connection. Our dream is that each generation will be healthier and happier than the last, nurtured by their parents’ love and accompanied by innovation in technology that helps children and parents.”
If you shake two nearby Gululu bottles they enter a peer-to-peer mode, where the virtual pets can play together. Kids get to compare their game progress and habit scores, while parents get a glimpse of their children’s social circle.
This high-tech device fully charges on its wireless dock in three hours, with the battery lasting up to three days. The bottle is completely waterproof and it’s advertised to resist drops up to a metre high.
(All this is amazing and all, but I can’t help imagine how much more fun this would be if it was a whiskey bottle instead.)
The project is currently going through a successful Kickstarter campaign, having already raised $US158,000, surpassing their $US100K goal. The Gululu is available for $89 on pre-order, although will sell for $99 when it hits shelves in September.