Gatorade is setting its sights on a slice of the global market for wearable fitness technology, which is estimated to reach $12.44bn by 2022.
As both professional and weekend athletes increasingly use wearable devices to track their diet, measure their heart rate and time training, Gatorade is developing a microchip-fitted smart-cap bottle and sweat patch to inform them when and how much they should drink.
The chip-enabled patch, which sticks to the skin, will work with an app to analyse a player’s sweat, communicating with Gatorade’s software to identify the athlete’s sweat level, as well as electrolyte and additional fluid-intake needs. The chip-fitted cap shares athlete’s real-time hydration data. Based on the algorithm developed in collaboration with its Sports Science Institute, Gatorade will give the player nutrition recommendations. In field-tested prototypes, flashing lights tell players when they need to hydrate.
To allow users to meet their personal needs, as instructed by the smart cap, Gatorade is launching small pods that snap onto the bottles, using up to a dozen different formulas with differing levels of calories, electrolytes, and carbohydrates. These pods were first seen in the Drinkfinity system launches in Brazil at the start of 2015.
The smart cap and the sweat patch are not planned to hit the commercial market until next year or even 2018. However, prototypes of the bottle have already been tested with big name athletic teams. Gatorade started testing the high-tech bottle design with Brazil national soccer team during the World Cup 2014 and planned to scale the idea since then. There isn’t an official price yet, but the company will release the first version of the smart-cap bottle exclusively for athletes this summer.
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