UK based ultra runner and product designer Andrew Saville likes to run with hydration packs, but all too often found himself far from home and surprisingly low on water. Currently there are no hydration packs that indicate their water levels or your consumption (without looking inside), so Saville invented the Hydrate Mate to conveniently provide this crucial data.
The Hydrate Mate is a small device that attaches to any hydration pack and measures how much water you’ve drank, and how much you have left. Your Bluetooth-linked smartphone displays your water level so you can check your supply by reaching into your pocket instead of removing your backpack.
For cyclists, the big question is: Where do you put your smartphone when you ride? If it stays in your pocket, the Hydrate Mate would make checking your water reserves a little bit easier. However, if you empty your pockets into your hydration pack this device provides a pointless and overcomplicated redundancy. The Hydrate Mate is seeking funds through Indiegogo, and their campaign is open until Feb. 24th. If your phone lives at your hip pr at your bar, gulp down the details below…
The Hydrate Mate is a compact device that connects to any hydration pack where the straw meets the bladder. Using a sensor it measures the amount of pressure inside the bladder to determine how much liquid is inside it. The sensor also contains a tilt-sensitive accelerometer, which ensures you get an accurate reading with the pack sitting at any angle.
The collected data is then transmitted via Bluetooth to your smartphone. While the app is still in development, we can see in the promo video that a graphic display indicates your water level in several stages, and it appears voice notifications will be a feature as well (which would make the system completely hands free, and even more convenient). Unfortunately there are few details given about the voice notifications, but audible messages like ‘you have 50% remaining’ and ‘consider refilling soon’ as heard in the video would be extremely handy.
The device weighs 79g and works with any hydration pack (some brands will require an adapter, which is included). The internal battery is non replaceable but has a lifespan of 3888 hours, which should last over six years under regular use (12 hours a week). The Hydrate Mate’s battery life is displayed within the iOS and Android compatible smartphone app, which will be available as a free download by the time the first units ship out.
To sum it up, there are some functional advantages to this device- You can check your water level without removing your pack, you can constantly monitor your water consumption, and serious athletes could use this data to study their consumption vs. output for training purposes. However, for cyclists it all rides on one condition- The Hydrate Mate is completely redundant if you carry your phone in your hydration pack – either open the pack to check your phone to check your water, or open your pack to check your water.
Early Indiegogo supporters can buy a Hydrate Mate for $28.50 USD plus shipping, but the retail price will eventually rise to $57. The device is available to customers worldwide and is expected to ship out by July 2016. The Hydrate Mate comes with a one year warranty, and you can check out the campaign here.