If you’re a follower of mine on Google+ you know that I am the father of five super awesome kids. All of my kids are super healthy and super active, something I never was at their age. But even with healthy habits and activity, there are still some issues. One of our kids has a very hard time drinking enough water. That’s where we hoped the Gululu Interactive Water Bottle would help. It’s not that our daughter doesn’t like water or that she’s drinking other things besides water. All of our kids drink strictly water with the rare occasion of 100% juice, it’s just that our 8-year old daughter doesn’t drink enough H2O. All of our efforts to help her understand the importance of enough water never seemed to help. So we turned to a bit of technology to assist. Read on for the full review of the Gululu Interactive Water Bottle and see why it’s a Top Pick for 2017.
The Gululu Interactive Water Bottle has the following features and specifications:
- Holds 400 mL (13.5oz)
- Non-toxic and BPA free
- Ultra low radiation
- 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi compatible
- IP67 rated
- H: 7.87in (20cm)
- Ø: 2.99in (7.6cm)
- 2 days normal use
- 4 days standby
- 3 hours to charge
What’s In the Box
- Gululu Bottle
- Extra bottle spout
- Wireless Charging Dock
- Micro USD Cable
- Documentation/Instructions and Warranty
The first thing I noticed when pulling the Gululu out of the box is how robustly built it is. The entire thing, including the charging stand, feel really solidly built from high-quality materials. They even include an extra bottle spout in case yours gets too dirty to clean or unusable. The removable bottle spout also makes it much easier to clean than traditional spouts.
There’s a color LCD screen on the front where the child can see their character and daily progress. There’s one single button above the screen and the sides of the bottle have gesture controls for interacting with the bottle. The Gululu bottle also has a screw on cap that protects the bottle tip and lends itself nicely to the overall aesthetic. The charging cradle plugs into the wall and charges the bottle to full in about 3-hours.
The design is colorful and appealing to kids, there are even stickers to decorate the bottle, however, the child would like. Overall it’s a nice design meant for kids and the bottle fits nicely in little hands with a good amount of grip to it.
Ease of Use
The bottle is pretty simple to use and setup. The setup process is a bit long but there are some fun bits going over the history of your Gululu pet and the Gululu world. The bottle connects via its own Wi-Fi network and syncing, gameplay, and updates are all done seamlessly. Once you have the network all setup and your kid starts playing with the app and earning treasure chests and other goal oriented prizes. It’s all up to the child after that, our daughter has had fun chasing after the next goal.The company says the bottle will help children in the following areas:
The company says the bottle will help children in the following areas:
- Measure and verify water intake with Gululu’s built-in sensors that are so smart that they can detect whether your child is actually drinking water, or pouring it out
- Stay properly hydrated based on scientifically-derived hydration targets based on your child’s age, weight, and climate
- Optimize body function and performance including cognition, mood, sleep, digestion, concentration, and sports performance
- Develop healthy habits to drink water continuously throughout the day with the help of a virtual pet and reward system to motivate your child
- Prevent disease by drinking water, not sugary beverages, as Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity are both linked to high sugar consumption
- Foster “cooperation” to support good hydration habits by friending others’ bottles so you can see their progress toward hydration goals
The downside to this could be a loss of interest in the bottle and the pet and the child going back to old habits. Right now I think it’s too early to really tell if this technological assist will have good long-term effects on her drinking habits. For now, her water intake is probably triple what she used to drink and we’re at least happy that it’s going to be good for her body right now. If I remember to revisit this review in a year or more, I will certainly update if she’s still using the bottle anf her habits were changed or if she’s not using it anymore.
The Gululu Interactive Water Bottle comes with the Gululu app which syncs all of the child’s drinking data and gameplay. Once you have the app setup you’ll be asked to choose a character. Once you choose a character, you cannot change it until you go through that character’s entire story. I actually like to think of this water bottle as a Tamagotchi on a larger and more educational scale. The virtual pets living inside the bottle evolve, grow, and collect rewards as kids interact with them by drinking water. When kids forget to hydrate, their pets lose energy and gently remind them to drink more to reach their hydration goals.
We’ve found that our daughter wants to care for her pet and thus will drink more water. The company has also thought about the bottle being a distraction. Should your child take this to school or want to play during bedtime, it has school and bedtime modes. This will allow you to restrict any gameplay or interactive modes during those times. This is also particularly effective when you have a child who might become obsessed with playing the Gululu game. The software is really great and the gameplay is fun, though I’m not sure it would appeal to kids over 13, but that is subjective and would depend on the kid.
The Gululu Interactive Water Bottle performed admirably and mostly as advertised. It did a great job of keeping track of our daughter’s water consumption and the interactive part of the bottle worked perfectly. If I had one complaint relating to performance it has to be an occasional disconnect from the smartphone. It only happened twice where the app on the smartphone stopped communicating with the bottle. I had to go into the app and set up the bottle again to regain connection. That being said, it seems the bottle may store data because once connected again, the data resynced and updated in the app. Overall the performance is as advertised with the exception of just two occasions where the bottle and app dropped connection from each other.
The Gululu Interactive Water Bottle is not a cheap device. You can pick this up on Amazon for $129USD and the value may not be there for everyone. But for those parents who do have a child who struggles to hydrate, this does have a good amount of value. To top it off. Your purchase of Gululu provides clean drinking water for life to a child in a developing country through their partnership with The Generosity Foundation.
I’ve reviewed smart water bottles before and the naysayers (vocal minority) will always find a way to troll such devices. Most of them think a device like this is unnecessary because they have no issue drinking water. There are legitimate reasons why kids and adults could benefit from a tool such as the Gululu bottle even if you may not. So far, it’s been a pretty great tool to increase our daughter’s water drinking habits. I’d recommend this for those who do have kids with hydration issues. I wouldn’t recommend spending this much money on it to simply use it as a toy.
*We were sent a sample of the Gululu Interactive Water Bottle for the purposes of this review.
Gululu Interactive Water Bottle$129USD
- Really fun design
- Easy to hold and durable
- Fun for kids to track their hydration
- Interactive games and rewards
- Is a helpful tool for kids who have a hard time drinking water
- Dropped connection a few times