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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

For instance, Pure Hydration has partnered with the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) UK to promote information about endangered wildlife. Consumers can purchase a bottle printed with a picture of a specific animal. When they tap their phone against the tag, they can then view or select content specific to that animal. That media is expected to be updated periodically, Andrews says.

In addition, the system is designed to help users access data related to their location and their use of the bottle. "We've added some engaging features," Andrews says, such as enabling users to track their water consumption, as well as view how much is being consumed worldwide with the bottles. It also helps users find their closest "refill station."

Pure Hydration's Joyce Andrews
To track water consumption, a person would tap the tag each time the bottle is refilled and log in that refill. That data would be provided anonymously to the entire bottle using the quantity without the user's identity to calculate how many plastic water bottles are not entering the waste or recycle stream. An individual could also view his or her own personal record at any time. To locate a refill station when the bottle becomes empty, a user would tap the tag on the bottle, and the software platform links that unique ID with the phone's GPS location, thereby providing a map showing the nearest refill station.

Pure Hydration is also developing functionality so that the bottle can be customized for a company with its own logo printed on the front, and each bottle's unique tag ID could be linked to a particular employee of that company. Each time the bottle is refilled, a user could tap the phone to update the data, which could then be shared specifically within a company's team or with management.

The refill station map currently lists the nearest Starbucks sites, since the coffee company's policy is to provide free water refills, and more refill areas are expected to be added over time. Pure Hydration's goal is to have a relationship with coffee houses and other refill businesses, so that they could not only provide refills, but also sell the bottles.

The Smart Cosmos software platform also offers insight into the supply chain of Pure Hydration's products. "Smart Cosmos provides a simple, streamlined method to digitize Pure Hydration's water bottles," says Dinesh Dhamija, Smart Cosmos's CEO. "By making these physical bottles digital, Pure Hydration is able to provide their customers with an amazing customer experience while being able to glean insights into the manufacturing and digitization operations." The software enables the firm to create a digital twin of each bottle as it is manufactured, shipped and then used by the customer. "By tailoring and providing these digital interactions, Pure Hydration is able to turn a one-time customer into a life-long advocate."

The system does not monitor the need to replace filters within the bottles because the filter life depends on the water's location and quality. "As long as the water is flowing," Andrews says, "the user knows it's safe to drink." The filter cap needs to be purchased separately and is slated to be made available in April 2020. In the meantime, the Ice Bottle is now available. In the long run, she says, "My goal would be that we don't need [plastic disposable] water bottles at all."

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