Drink more water. It's that half-hearted goal you continually commit to, only to break roughly 12 hours later, when you realize you've had two iced coffees, a Diet Coke and about two sips of water. And the water part you're counting over a three-day period.
Well, apparently people are so into the idea — and so sick of failing miserably at it — that they're willing to shell out $55 to have a water bottle continually nag them to do drink more. Launched on , the Hidrate Spark — a smart water bottle that syncs with your phone, tracking how much you sip from it each day — set a goal of raising $35,000. It brought in $627,644, almost 18 times its benchmark. And since it launched, (50,000 bottles and counting), with such a backlog that orders placed after Valentine's Day wouldn't ship until April.
So what's the deal with it? And what makes it any different than, say, using a water-tracking app or one of those ?
Beyond scoring style points for its geometric design and frosted color (available in six shades, though if you want a green bottle, prepare to be waitlisted), the 24-ounce container features a screw-on cap with a wand that goes down the center of the bottle, which is used to gauge how much you drink. After every sip, you're supposed to sit the Spark on a flat surface for about 10 seconds, giving it time to gauge how much you've drunk. It then syncs with the Hidrate Spark app on your phone, showing you how close you are to your drinking goal for the day (experts say it should be about ).
As you go about your day, you'll get pop-up notifications on your phone, reminding you to drink. Ignore that, and the bottle will light up. It's more of a gentle glow effect, not a siren, but it's still enough to whip everyone's heads around at work, at a bar, or yoga class, when that flashing light has everybody wondering whether your bottle's about to spontaneously combust. It does get your attention though, so don't even think about bringing it into a movie theater. Unless you want someone to dump an $18 tub of popcorn over your head.
The bottle's also BPA-free and has a battery that lasts for months, so you don't have to plug it in to charge it, like the . The only complaint our testers had was that the bottle didn't always sync properly, so you might down the full 24 ounces, only for the app to show 18. (If that happens, the brand recommends recalibrating the bottle.) And if your phone dies, your sips aren't counted. At that point, should you even bother hitting the bottle? You can always log those ounces in the app manually, but that's right about the point where laziness kicks in, and this habit goes the way of every "I'll drink more water" resolutions before it.
However, if you like the structure that a daily routine brings — and can keep your phone charged throughout the day — this $55 bottle may be well worth the investment. Plus, there's the minor thrill of watching your bottle do a celebratory light show in your honor each day, once you've hit your goal.