Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a promising wearable hydration tracker, which will help you keep on top of your H2O intake.
We've been talking about hydration monitors quite a bit on Wareable recently. Devices like LVL and the Halo Edge are hitting the market, but there's even variation between the way those devices work, and it's yet to be seen if this technology is ready for public consumption.
The wearable created by NC State, can be worn on either the wrist or as a chest patch, and early trials have shown great results. The patch has two electrodes that monitor electrical properties of the skin, which can tell how hydrated the wearer is.
In testing, the patch was found to be as accurate as an $8,000 commercially available monitor. It was also unaffected by ambient humidity.
"Our sensor could be used to protect the health of people working in hot conditions, improve athletic performance and safety, and to track hydration in older adults or in medical patients suffering from various conditions," said Yong Zhu, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at NC State.
Zhu added that the monitor could even be used to monitor the effectiveness of skin moisturisers.
The information can be transmitted to a program running on a computer or smart device, which means you'd be able to monitor the data yourself or have it sent to a doctor. And as we recently explored, hydration data could be a very useful thing for your doctor to have.
But unlike its $8,000 equivalent, this sensor would cost just one dollar, while "the overall manufacturing cost of the wearable systems we developed would be no more than a common wearable device, such as a Fitbit," said Shanshan Yao, lead author of the paper.
We're interested to see how this will compare to LVL's and Halo's method of tracking. Whatever the case, it looks like hydration trackers are about to have their big entrance.