Staying hydrated has lots of health benefits — it can help keep energy levels high, make skin appear healthier, and even aid weight loss.
The walnut-sized device comes with a strap that can be placed around a cup, glass, or water bottle to monitor how much water you drink throughout the day and remind you to sip more if you haven’t had enough.
The Ulla has motion sensors that can track tilt and movement. Once a person comes near the device, an LED light inside the Ulla will start blinking — the machine’s way of telling you that it’s time to take a drink. Once it detects that a cup or bottle has been tilted (how it judges whether or not you’ve had a sip), the light will blink once as a confirmation and then go off. An algorithm restarts a 30-minute timer each time the Ulla is tilted. If you don’t drink again within that time frame, the light will start to blink again.
If the motion sensor doesn’t detect movement near the bottle for two hydration cycles (about an hour), it will automatically shut off to preserve the battery. That way, it won’t blink while you sleep at night — unless it’s next to your bed and you tend to toss and turn.
Cica Gajic, the founder of Ulla, tells Tech Insider that the company’s tests have shown Ulla users drink two to three times more water per day than they did before owning the device.
The Slovenian company has now sold over 100,000 Ullas.
Gajic says the concept for the device came about because she and her team members all love coffee, but found they often didn’t drink water throughout the day. The team conducted an in-house study of 120,000 people around the world, and found that 60% said they don’t drink enough water.
“They simply forget to, because they are too busy,” Gajic wrote in an email, explaining that her team began prototyping the Ulla after seeing the study’s results.
The $24.99 device is available in six colours and comes with a replaceable battery, which the company claims should last six months.
Of course, being too distracted or busy to drink water during the day is almost the definition of a “first-world problem.” But staying hydrated is a worthwhile goal nonetheless.
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