LVL – First Wearable to Track Hydration

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LVL wearable hydration monitor with smartphone
LVL is the first ever wearable to accurately measure hydration in real-time.

I love wearable technology. I follow along with a lot of the changes in the field. But honestly, I’ve felt a little bored over the past year, I wasn’t that excited about anything. The only innovations that have impressed me lately is the introduction of ways to measure mental health/stress level. But the rest have felt like the same old things. LVL changes that. LVL really feels like a fresh and truly innovative entry to what is becoming a crowded market.

The LVL band has:

  • activity tracking
  • sleep tracking
  • heart rate monitoring
  • mood tracking
  • hydration monitor

LVL wearable with black wristband

Activity and sleep tracking is fairly common in wearables these days. Next level ones have continuous heart rate monitoring and a few on the market are starting to include mood/stress tracking. Nobody has the continuous hydration tracking until now. This is a Level Up!

The LVL uses red lights to monitor heart rate and hydration, while most wearables are using green light for wrist bound heart rate tracking. (My Garmin… cough cough) The reason most of them use green lights is due to the fact that they are scientifically simpler, so their profit margins end up higher because they can get them to the market faster and don’t require as much development time. Red light is more common in medical grade products because it can reach 10x deeper into the body and it can read more signals in the body.

LVL wearable sensors showing

 

So why the interest in hydration tracking? LVL was developed by BSX Technologies, whose CEO (Dustin Freckleton) suffered a stroke while in med school due to dehydration. That sparked an interest in helping others understand that people can be pretty bad at recognizing how much they actually need to drink. People who are dehydrated perform worse than those who are hydrated, both at physical tasks and mental tasks. Dehydration affects sleep, weight, recovery… everything. And it is thought that 75% of Americans are walking around dehydrated to some extent.

I’m eager to get my hands on one of these and put it through the paces. BSX just launched their Kickstarter for LVL and it’s already met the goal in one day. I hope the momentum continues. Already people are asking about additional features (smart notifications is one I saw) and those can come with a larger backing fund to work with. But the hydration monitoring is still the key and focus goal.

Person wearing LVL wristband while holding glass of water

And for those of you who are leery of crowdfunding, I get it. I’ve made some poor backing decisions with technology products where the end result was very late and not well made. But BSX has been through crowdfunding before with their BSXinsight, a lactate threshold monitor that is being used by pros and high-level athletes all over now. They came through on that campaign perfectly and all of my interactions with the company have been very positive. Not only do they have the medical training and knowledge, they have the sport-athletic background because they are athletes themselves. They know how training can drive our lives.

I love how this device and the companion app will give you actionable insight into how you can improve. Messages like, “Drink this much water in the next so many minutes and you’ll feel better.” give the user real direction. And since it uses the red light sensor, it has the potential to expand to measuring other metrics.

Update:
With 37 days to go, LVL’s fundraising is killing it with $430,000+ raised! Their initial goal was $50,000.

Disclaimer: I volunteered to help BSX help spread the word on this campaign because of my past interactions with the company. I truly think they are and will continue to great things in the sports technology arena. All photos in this post came from them, since I don’t have a device to take photos of myself. And even if I did, my photos wouldn’t look this lovely!

 

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