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BU - Digital Personal Hydration System

by Jessica Deseo on 04/11/2014 | 4 Minute Read

When two giants in their respective industries collaborate, life-changing things happen. For project BU, Alto design & have joined forces to create and combine an innovative relationship between the physical and digital world. A year in the making, BU is a "personal hydration system that helps people stay better hydrated throughout the day." A useful way for any generation to track the much needed consumption of water to stay healthy. The first phase of this project is the product itself, a beautiful glass that looks both sleek and minimal while incorporating innovative technology. The second phase will be the outer packaging that is still under development. 

Endless package design possibilities can be executed for BU, what are your design thoughts for BU?


"The Montreal teams of ALTO Design, an industrial design agency, and, a digital consulting and development firm, are pleased to share the initial results of their collaborative efforts on connected environments. 

A rewarding collaboration in industrial design and digital technology

The two companies, considered figureheads of their respective industries, have spent over a year combining their expertise to innovate in how we see connections between the physical and the digital worlds. The natural combination of these two worlds has enabled the companies to explore opportunities around connected objects and to work together on a prototype of an initial intelligent object.

Through this long-term association, members of both teams further developed their expertise in fields such as research, user experience, interaction design, industrial design, and technology development.

The emergence of innovative projects

Following research, analysis and brainstorming, three project areas were identified: 

  • Health and personal hydration
  • Bridging the gap between generations by connecting technology to social media
  • Helping people manage their nutrition, food shopping and food waste

One project was chosen for development in 2013: a daily personal hydration management system.  

A connected object prototype is born: BU 

BU is a glass that has integrated sensors that connect to a personalized mobile app. It is the ideal companion for people who want to stay better hydrated throughout the day. The glass sensors track a user’s consumption and a light reminds the user to drink if they forget.  Using the mobile app, you can see how you’re doing throughout the day, as well as track your longer-term progress.

The development of the BU project involved seven prototypes of the glass and three for the application, and brought together a total of eight experts who met every two weeks for over a year."

“The BU project is an initiative born of intellectual and technological cooperation between the ALTO Design and teams. The end result of this project is extraordinary; I’m very impressed by the underlying thought process and team dynamic.”
— Patrick Mainville, Partner and VP Design at ALTO Design
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Designed by Alto Design (industrial design agency) & (a digital consulting and development firm)

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