Gimmicky Thermos connected water bottle is actually very useful
Despite proven health benefits, most people don't drink enough water and very few take the time to manually track the amount they drink each day. A new connected water bottle is designed to solve these problems — and it works well.
Who has time to manually log all the ounces of water they consume each day? Probably about 10 people on the planet, 15 max. Definitely not me.
Thermos’s new Connected Hydration Bottle with Smart Lid ($60), is a Bluetooth-connected water bottle designed to track how much water you drink daily and over time. And the company is far from alone in this nascent category; startups hawking connected water bottles via Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaigns include Hidrate, Trago, BluFit, and MyHydrate.
Not just another connected gimmick
Are you rolling your eyes at the thought of yet another everyday object becoming “smart?” (Remember the $90 smart fork?) I hear you. The connected water bottle, however, is actually a good idea.
I don’t drink enough water. I’ve known this for years, and I do try, especially when I’m at the gym. But I’m not going to manually track what I consume. It’s just not going to happen. Ever.
So a sports bottle that automatically tracks how much water I drink every day and logs the data in my Fitbit account is genuinely helpful to me.
Thermos’s ‘smart lid’ talks to Fitbit
The bottle’s “smart lid” has a micro USB charging port, an opening for drinking, and a straw-like tube with sensors to detect water temperature and bottle capacity.
The bottle send data to the free Thermos iOS app via Bluetooth. If you connect your Fitbit profile, the Thermos app populates the water field in your Fitbit dashboard with daily ounces consumed.
In my experience, the bottle’s Fitbit sync is somewhat irregularly, but closing and relaunching the Fitbit app usually solves the problem.
Oncoming wave of connected water bottles
The Thermos bottle isn’t the only connected water bottle that syncs with Fitbit. HidrateSpark (also $60) promises to sync with Fitbit, Jawbone, Misfit, and MyFitnessPal, and it starts shipping in January. HidrateSpark also comes in multiple colors, and it glows when it’s time for you to drink up. The Thermos bottle doesn’t light up (which is not necessarily a bad thing, in my opinion) and only comes in two colors: teal and smoke.
If you’re seriously into tracking your activities or sleep via Fitbit, you want to drink more water for health reasons or weight loss, and $60 doesn’t feel too steep for a water bottle, Thermos’s Connected Hydration Bottle with Smart Lid is worth a look.
James A. Martin is a seasoned tech journalist and blogger based in San Francisco and winner of the 2014 ASBPE National Gold award for his CIO.com blog. He writes CIO.com's Living the Tech Life blog and is also a content marketing consultant.