The Pryme Smart Cup Tells You How Much Water to Drink. Seriously
You’ve probably heard that eight glasses of water a day is essential to your health. Turns out, that’s a myth.
People actually need vastly different amounts of water to stay healthy and hydrated. Pryme is a new intelligent cup that’s designed to track your personal water needs. “If you’re Shaquille O’Neal or Taylor Swift…or a lactating mom or a triathlete, you should be drinking different amounts of water,” says Nic Barnes, head of branding at Mark One, the company that makes Pryme. (The company’s other intelligent cup, Vessyl, tracks what you’re drinking, and is still in development.) “But we also know that hydration fluctuates. If you wake up and work out, or don’t, what you need to drink at 9 a.m. is different.”
Pryme ($99 during pre-order) works by crunching some of your personal data—your age, weight, height, biological sex, and your baseline activity level—and cross referencing it with information it collects from your fitness tracker. (Pryme works with Apple’s HealthKit and the Jawbone UP, and the Mark One team is working on setting up compatibility with other devices.) Because we get a lot of water from food intake, Pryme also factors in the hydration provided by the standard American diet. The result is a user-specific hydration profile that Pryme uses to monitor your water intake and recommend, via an app, when and how much to drink. The actual Pryme cup is rigged with sensors that can detect how much you’re drinking, and how quickly. Paired together, the app and cup keep you on a diligent sipping schedule.
Pryme isn’t for everyone. In fact, it’s probably not for most people. It’s easy to pan, because it packages up one of the simplest tasks ever—drinking water—into a gee-whiz, connected gadget. Any adult who is sound of mind and wants to be more well-hydrated just needs to remember to drink more water. Problem solved.
But whether you value its utility or not, Pryme is a powerful reminder of the trajectory our gadgets are on.“At one point, we didn’t even have the data about fitness,” Barnes says. “But as we get more data, we can do more.” Today, that data can tell you how many steps you have left to take in a given day, or how much water to drink. But as the data we collect about ourselves increases, so, too, will the power of tools that leverage that data. In that light, Pryme is about more than reminding people to drink water; it’s a proof of concept that mining and processing personal data can translate to clear, actionable user experiences.
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