Hydration motivation: AI meets healthy habits and encourages water consumption
An interactive water bottle that helps children stay hydrated by engaging them to care for a virtual pet has launched in Australia. As children drink more water from the Gululu interactive water bottle, their chosen virtual pet grows and makes friends. At the same time, Gululu keeps parents informed of their children’s hydration progress through a connected smartphone app.
Creators of the product, Bowhead Technology, say they have a goal of enabling children to love drinking water, and to build healthy habits. The creators of the product were prompted to address the issue of children favouring flavoured drinks over water, and to overcome dehydration in children, which, according to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, can result in poor health, including cognitive and emotional problems, and is associated with diabetes and obesity.
The Gululu Talk is the latest introduction to the brand’s line, and features a sound speaker, which allows the pets to talk to children for the first time, using over 200 phrases and different voices for the individual pet characters.
Children using the bottles are able to engage in various aspects of social interaction, such as co-creating content, and sending emoji animations to one another via the bottles. Approximately 70,000 bottles have been purchased globally, and shipped across 70 countries.
In future, Bowhead Technology hopes to create its own music and songs for children, as well as animated short videos, and a “non bottle innovative product” addressing other healthy habits.
So what do you think? Many parents are keen to know more about how much their child is eating and drinking in early childhood education and care (ECEC) – would a product like this help? Might it result in multiple calls from parents if their child isn’t drinking enough? How else can services encourage children to build a healthy water habit?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below.