Tech Wreck: Do You Need A Hug?

Every now and then, some innovator in the tech scene will come up with an idea that makes everyone wonder if technology has gone too far. This week, it’s The Hug, the dumbest smart-thing we have seen this month.

Created by Finnish start-up Caktus Inc. and currently on Kickstarter, The Hug is a two-part connected device that helps users stay properly hydrated. It includes a sensor band that wraps around your water bottle to track your liquid consumption, and an accompanying iOS app that sends you notifications when your hydration levels are low.

Noble as their efforts are, the geniuses behind The Hug forgot two simple facts in their pursuit of the Water Bottle 2.0. First and foremost, water intake is such a basic physiological need that everyone can recognize thirst without constant external nudges. Even worse, The Hug is simply too impractical to use: normal people typically use different vessels as their locations change throughout the day. Even though The Hug claims to fit “most existing bottles”, it’d still be a major hassle to carry a sensor around every day, put it on every time you decide to drink, and wait for the app to sync up and recalibrate, all before you could just lift up that cup and hydrate your body.

The Hug is just one of the many well-intentioned ideas that got carried away in the tide of Internet of Things. The health-related “value” it supposedly offers is disproportional to the effort it requires, which ultimately renders this product useless. At the end of the day, we all need to calm down, and ask ourselves: do we really need The Hug, or do we just need a hug?

Update: Their Kickstart campaign has failed. Hope everyone there is getting a hug.