Nix has launched what it calls “game changing technology”. It comes in the form of a patch that analyses your sweat in real-time, providing users with personalised hydration needs data.
Technology that looks at sweat is an emerging space. We recently published our hands-on review of the Gatorade GX Sweat Patch. The gizmo looks at differences in color on the patch that are caused by chemical reactions. Users can scan the patch with their smartphone app to monitor both the level of dehydration and the concentration of chloride in their body.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
The Nix Hydration Biosensor shares a few things with Gatorade’s product. It, too, comes in the guise of something that sticks to your skin. And after use, you need to dispose of the patch. But that’s, pretty much, where the similarities end.
Nix’s product sends sweat information from moment to moment to the smartphone app. This means it continuously evaluates fluid and electrolyte losses. That should be particularly useful for endurance athletes with lengthy training sessions, and those who live in hot climates.
How the Hydration Biosensor works
Before commencing the workout you need to tell the smartphone app what you are doing and whether this is indoors or outdoors. For example, a run or bike ride. You also need to specify what (if anything) you are planning to drink during exercise and how you wish to be notified of real-time hydration needs. The notifications can be based on time elapsed or fluid loss.
As mentioned, the patch sticks to your skin from where it captures the sweat metrics. On top of the patch you’ll need to fit the 0.5 ounce plastic pod. This is where the tech sits which transmits this data while you exercise to the Nix smartphone app.
The notifications on your fluid and electrolyte loss per hour will start arriving when you start exercising. You can view them on the smartphone app, which is not ideal. The more useful route is to connect your Apple Watch or Garmin watch to the pod. You will then be able to see the notifications on your wrist.
The Pod also plays nice with Garmin bike computers. Nix says it will expand this to more platforms in the coming months including Strava, Wahoo, TrainingPeaks, Zwift, Suunto and others.
Additional info can be viewed after your exercise is complete in the samrtphone app. You’ll get a post-workout summary to help you tweak your hydration strategy going forward. The software also spits out a list of hydration products organized by electrolyte composition. That should help users identify what works best for their unique needs.
All in all, this sounds like an interesting product. Probably not something for the average Joe, but those serious about training may want to have a look. Nix says it is currently conducting research with sports teams, the military and laborer populations.
The Nix Hydration Biosensor can be purchased on the company’s website. For $129 you get the Pod, four Sweat Patches, a Charging Case and USB cable. Additional patch refills go for $25 a pop. This gets you four additional single-use patches.
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