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NFC Personalizes Ice Bottle to Reduce Waste

Pure Hydration's new intelligent, reusable water bottle employs NFC technology to enable users to track their own filtered water consumption, locate refill stations and access data personalized to their own interests.
By Claire Swedberg
Feb 12, 2020

U.K.- and U.S.-based water-filtration technology company Pure Hydration plans to reduce the environmental impact of disposable plastic water bottles. Its stainless steel product, known as the Ice Bottle, can filter water and is intended to be used and re-used anywhere throughout the world where tap water is available, ensuring access to safe drinking water while reducing the use of plastic bottles.

The solution goes beyond a simple re-fillable filtering bottle, however. To help a user track his or her own role in reducing water bottle waste, find the nearest refill area or engage with a larger community using the bottles, the technology also offers intelligence. That's where the Smart Cosmos software platform comes in. Smart Cosmos provides cloud-based data, the company reports, and based on Near Field Communication (NFC) tag reads.

Jon Grant founded Pure Hydration in the United Kingdom in 2008, to offer a filtration and purification system that could provide safe drinking water. The company designs and supplies water-purification systems to users such as the U.K. Royal Air Force (RAF) aircrew. The filters remove microbiological contaminants, including viruses and bacteria, metals and chemicals. The firm offers its water-purification system to customers worldwide.

Recently, Grant began looking at designing filtration technology for everyday use, with a goal of reducing plastic waste. "He became passionate about bringing that same technology to the consumer world and trying to drastically reduce, if not eliminate, the use of single-use plastic water bottles," says Joyce Andrews, Pure Hydration's VP for the Americas. The company reengineered a stainless steel water bottle with its own digital print technology to provide printed bottles, personalized to the needs of the businesses that order them, or featuring prints that consumers can select from the company's website.

Unlike some existing solutions that offer water filtration through a straw, which requires some effort on the part of a consumer, Andrews says, Pure Hydration's bottle utilizes the filter in the cap, so it can be sipped gently. The filter works with tap water from around the world, she reports, and the water can be consumed safely and still taste good. The bottles are manufactured in China, while the cap is built in Taiwan and the filer is made in the United States.

The Smart Cosmos platform and the NFC technology that forwards data to that platform, however, allow a community connection. For each Ice Bottle, Pure Hydration applies an NFC tag to the bottom of the bottle, which remains with that bottle for its lifetime. The passive 13.56 MHz tag, compliant with the ISO 14443 standard, comes with a unique ID number that links to the bottle and is durable enough to withstand multiple washings.

When purchasing an Ice Bottle, an individual can tap his or her NFC-enabled Android- or iOS-based device against the tag. The phone's reader captures the unique ID and automatically connects to the software platform. On the Ice Bottle App, the user can then input data that links the bottle to him or her. Such information could include an e-mail address, the company for which he or she works, or specific interests that could then link the bottle to related content.

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