Ulla: A Simple Hydration SolutionBy John Davis - June 6, 2017
I have a drinking problem. It’s not ’cause I drink too much. Instead, it’s because I don’t drink enough. Of course, I’m talking about water. Between my busy schedule and demanding job, I rarely find enough time to rehydrate. And as odd as my “problem” sounds, it’s a real problem that affects not just me, but millions of people around the world.
We’ve reviewed several “smart water bottles” that are supposed to help remind you to sip more H20. However, smart bottles can be pricey, and I’m sure that not everyone is willing to spend $80 on a water bottle.
But here’s the good news: Now, you can turn any glass, bottle, or cup into a smart water container that reminds you to drink plenty of water.. and the solution is not expensive. Meet Ulla.
What Is Ulla?
Ulla is NOT a water bottle. It’s an egg-shaped pendant attached to a band designed to wrap around the body of glasses, water bottles, or tumblers. Its main job is to monitor your drinking behavior.
The pendant is equipped with a 3-axis high-proximity accelerometer so it knows if you’re keeping yourself hydrated. Basically, it can tell if your water container is on a table or if you’re taking a sip. If you take a drink every 30 to 40 minutes, it rewards you (if that’s even the right word) by not bugging you. However, if you fail to take a sip at least every 40 minutes, it reminds you by flashing lights. Ulla also knows whether you need to be reminded or not. Using a proximity sensor and an ambient light sensor, the pendant knows to turn off the blinking light feature when your sleeping, assuming you sleep with the lights off. It also knows whether you’re around or not. If you’re not around, it won’t blink.
Ulla’s Outside Appearance
Now that we know what’s inside Ulla and what it can do, let’s talk appearance… because nowadays, product design is just as important as function.
The Ulla pendant stands 4 cm high and 2.5 cm wide. As said earlier, it kind of looks like an egg. It comes in six colors: Coral Green, Flamingo Pink, Lagoon Blue, Lily Purple, Jet Black, and Lotus White. Even though the pendant doesn’t make contact with your mouth or the water you’re drinking, it is still made of BPA-free materials.
Not only does the pendant not make contact with water, but it can’t make contact. Ulla is not waterproof. And though it’s not a container for liquid, it still has a safe temperature range. Ulla can be used with liquids ranging in temperature from 32℉-158℉. Finally, it’s battery-powered. It uses a CR2032 replaceable coin cell battery that, on a full charge, can last for about six months.
Should You Buy It?
I’m assuming you’re here because you’re looking for a solution to help you drink more water. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend Ulla. Based on user reviews, customers’ opinions are divided. Some like the simplicity of the device, saying that that it’s helpful. Others are unimpressed, mainly because it’s advertised as “smart” but isn’t.
My opinion? I think it’s lacking. It could work, but what it does is limited. If you think of it, it’s actually just a timer that blinks every 30 to 40 minutes. Besides, it doesn’t help you track the AMOUNT of water you take in, but rather HOW OFTEN you drink. Even if you only sip 5ml of water from your bottle, so long as you do so every 30 to 40 minutes, Ulla does a happy dance. In reality, you don’t deserve a happy dance for a sip every 40 minutes.
But here’s the thing: No “smart water bottle” or hydration device will work without your cooperation. If you’re determined to keep yourself hydrated, a simple timer that reminds you to drink every 40 minutes might be enough to make a difference. Yes, Ulla isn’t as smart as other solutions. Yes, it doesn’t track your water intake. And yes, it’s just a timer that blinks. But if you’re seriously determined to drink more water, Ulla might be just what you’re looking for.
An Ulla costs $25 (excluding shipping fees), but you can choose from their family pack or even their office pack. The family pack includes 4 Ullas and costs $70 (Free Shipping). The Office pack of 10 Ullas, on the other hand, costs $160 (Free Shipping). If you’re interested, you can purchase Ulla from ulla.io.
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