Athletes’ latest high-tech tool may be a bottle of Gatorade.
The sports beverage brand is developing a “smart cap” that communicates digitally with a band aid-like sweat patch to track users’ hydration, reports the Wall Street Journal.
While a Fitbit can track your activity levels, the smart cap and sweat patch combo would measure each user’s individual hydration needs. Since exercise impacts each individual differently, the patch would analyse sweat to instruct users on their unique needs at that precise moment in time.
To allow users to meet their personal needs, as instructed by the smart cap, Gatorade is launching small pods that snap onto the bottles, using up to a dozen different formulas with differing levels of calories, electrolytes, and carbohydrates.
“The next frontier of performance is personalised nutrition and integrating technology in sports,” Xavi Cortadellas, Gatorade’s senior director of global innovation and design, said in a recent interview with PSFK Labs. “With Gatorade’s customisation platform, you have the personalisation aspect, but you also have the technology with the bottle.”
The smart cap and the sweat patch are not planned to hit the commercial market until next year or 2018. However, prototypes of the bottle have already been tested with big name athletic teams, including Brazil’s national soccer team prior to the 2014 World Cup, and currently the Boston Celtics and FC Barcelona.
In prototypes that have been tested on the field, flashing lights tell players when they need to hydrate. Athletes can customise the smart caps with their name, team logo, and number.
The new technology comes at a time when Gatorade’s parent company, PepsiCo, is actively attempting to expand into areas outside of sugary sodas. This year, the company says it plans to debut an organic version of the sports drink.
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