Staying properly hydrated is important, but sometimes you need a reminder to make sure that you do so. Now there’s new wearable fitness tracker called the LVL band that uses infrared to monitor your hydration levels in real-time and then offers advice on how much water you need.
“Everybody understands very strongly how important hydration is,” said the creator Dr. Dustin Freckleton. He has long been inspired to create such a device after he suffered a severe hydration-related stroke when he was in medical school.
Even at the sprightly age of 25, Freckleton needed three months of physical therapy before he learned to walk again. And though he eventually completed medical school, he decided that becoming a practicing physician was less important than helping the public avoid the negative effects of dehydration: poor sleep, poor cognitive function, and, in extreme cases, debilitating injury.
“When we express that we not only measure hydration, but the problems it solves, like around sleep and exercise, there’s an A-ha moment for people when they say ‘Oh my gosh, that’s what I need,'” Freckleton, the CEO of the data and performance company BSX Technologies, tells Business Insider.
In the same way your eye uses incoming light to create a visual image, the LVL band shines near-infrared light into your body, which then comes back to the band in the form of a spectroscopic image — essentially a fingerprint from inside your bloodstream. Software in the band analyzes that information to measure specific biometrics, like heart rate and hydration level.
Throughout the day, the LVL band gives wearers a small vibration to notify them when their hydration levels are getting low. A smartphone app that accompanies the band offers an estimated dehydration level, say “18% dehydrated,” and advises you to drink a certain amount of water accordingly.
Over time, Freckleton says, the app will learn when you tend to exercise and go to bed and calibrate its recommendations based on those behavior patterns. For example, you might get a notification encouraging you to drink 12 ounces of water two hours before your regular workout time, so that you’re in the best state possible to exercise.
You can read more about the interesting new wearable here.