I’m a fan of smart gadgets. Smart TV? Hook me up. Samsung’s Family Hub fridge? Please get it in my house immediately. I can even get on board with smart mirrors.
But really, does anyone actually need a mobile-app enabled water bottle?
Meet MiniMon, a “smart water bottle that helps track your water quality and intake while keeping your beverage hot, cold, and everywhere in between.”
It also connects to an app that is designed to personalise and improve your water-drinking habits based on your gender, height and weight, as well as the current temperature. It also allows you to set up an alarm clock to remind you when to drink water.
The Kickstarter video for MiniMon opens by saying that modern lives are fast paced and stressful, and that it’s increasingly difficult for people to pay attention to their health. And they may be right.
But as one of those busy people, I also don’t need yet another notification from yet another app in my life. Especially one with such a specific purpose.
To be fair, it can also remind you to take medication on time. Guess what else does that? Any other clock or reminder app.
And while daily tracking and monitoring may be useful for people who are actively trying to drink more water – is a dedicated app necessary? This feature is already a staple in a lot of health and fitness apps that don’t require you to buy a specific water bottle.
Okay, so what else can it do then? Well, it’s marketed as a thermos that can retain the heat of hot liquids for twenty-four hours and cold liquids for twelve hours.
It also monitors the temperature of the water, indicating when it’s a safe temperature to drink with red, orange and green displays on the lid cap. It also displays the current temperature of the water.
A temperature graph on the MiniMon website indicates that the warm water temperature will sit at around 35 degrees celsius after 24 hours.
Does anyone actually need 500ml of luke-warm water 24 hours after boiling it? That doesn’t seem like a lot of liquid, especially for the most obvious use – camping.
It could be useful for a day hike (and it would be hotter), but small thermoses have already existed for a long time. I genuinely wonder what this particular feature is useful for?
The last main feature of the MiniMon is water quality monitoring. If it detects that water has been in the bottle for more than twelve hours, a red aperture will appear on the cap to indicate that it has declined in quality.
Water can go flat after about twelve hours, due to carbon dioxide interacting with the H20. While this is most likely to happen in an exposed glass of water, it’s still something to be mindful of with a bottle.
So while drinking day-old water is generally fine, it won’t be as fresh. As someone who frequently drinks half depleted, day-old liquid, I can see the logic behind the quality meter in the MiniMon. But is it necessary? It’s really not that difficult to just refill my water bottle when I come into work in the morning.
Perhaps I’m just too cynical for the world of weirdly-specific smart gadgets. And just because I find something like this to be superfluous doesn’t mean that everyone will.
But when I see something that seems to just be a mash-up of previously existing products with app-connectivity and a $65 price tag thrown in, I have to ask – but why?