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Title:
SMART REMINDER FOR DRINKING LIQUIDS AND ITS METHOD OF OPERATION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/180066
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention refers to a reminder to drink liquids, primarily water, attachable to any container. The reminder reminds a user by an optical signal at certain time intervals to drink liquid/water from a container. The smart reminder to drink liquids of the invention comprises a two-parts housing accommodating an electronic control circuit with a timer, a motion sensor, an illumination sensor, a temperature sensor, a light indicator, a battery, and optionally a fastening band. The motion sensor detects acceleration and movement in x, y and z axes not only of the container, onto which the reminder is attached, but also detects vibrations caused by the user's motion and transferred from a floor onto a table and the container to detect user presence. These detections are transferred from the motion sensor to the control circuit which according to an algorithm adequately activates the logic states of the reminder and consequently the light indicator. The illumination sensor detects ambient light. Data about the quantity of ambient light are transmitted to the electronic control circuit which controls the light indicator intensity accordingly. The temperature sensor measures environmental temperature. Data on environmental temperature are transmitted to the electronic control circuit which uses an algorithm to optimise the time intervals, at which the light indicator will be actuated, according to environmental temperature.

Inventors:
MALI, Luka (Jerebova ulica 20, 8000 Novo mesto, SI)
MALIS, Damjan (Vrtnarija 12A, 1360 Vrhnika, SI)
GAJIC GRABOVAC, Cica (Sercerjeva ulica 20, 1000 Ljubljana, SI)
Application Number:
SI2017/000002
Publication Date:
October 19, 2017
Filing Date:
February 02, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ULLA LABS D.O.O. (Vrtnarija 12A, 1360 Vrhnika, SI)
International Classes:
G08B21/24; A47G23/16; A61B5/00; G06F19/00
Foreign References:
US20140372045A12014-12-18
Other References:
ANONYMOUS: "Share + + Ulla Lagoon Blue Smart Hydration Reminder", 3 November 2015 (2015-11-03), XP055377571, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20170531]
ANONYMOUS: "Ulla turns any bottle or glass into a hydration reminder", 6 October 2015 (2015-10-06), XP055377638, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20170531]
ANONYMOUS: "Ulla - Reminding you to drink ! - Coolsmartphone", 1 October 2015 (2015-10-01), XP055377924, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20170601]
ANONYMOUS: "Ulla, the Smart Water Reminder - Tested.Technology", 9 October 2015 (2015-10-09), XP055377520, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20170531]
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ITEM D.O.O. (Resljeva cesta 16, 1000 Ljubljana, SI)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A reminder for drinking liquids, preferably water, characterized in that it comprises a two-parts housing accommodating an electronic control circuit (4) with a timer (9), a motion sensor (7) an illumination sensor (5), a temperature sensor (6), a light indicator (8), and a battery (10), wherein the electronic control circuit (4) receives data from the motion sensor (7), the illumination sensor (5), the temperature sensor (6), and the timer (9), and controls the operation of the light indicator (8) by an algorithm that contains logical states Countdown, Remind, LightSleep, Sleep and DeepSleep.

2. Reminder according to claim 1 characterized in that the motion sensor (7) is a 3- axial motion sensor that detects acceleration and movement of a container, on which it is attached, in x, y and z axes, and vibrations caused by the user's motion and transferred from a floor onto a table and the container, wherein the detections from the motion sensor (7) are transferred to the electronic control circuit (4) which controls the light indicator (8) according to an algorithm.

3. Reminder according to preceding claims, characterized in that the illumination sensor (5) detects ambient light, wherein data on the quantity of ambient light are transmitted to the electronic control circuit (4) that controls the light indicator (8).

4. Reminder according to preceding claims, characterized in that the temperature sensor (6) measures environmental temperature, wherein the data on environmental temperature are transmitted to the electronic control circuit (4) which regulates time intervals, in which the light indicator (8) is actuated.

5. Reminder according to preceding claims, characterized in that the housing consists of a cap (1a) and a body (1b) and that the rear part of the cap (1a) is provided with a fold (1c) for fastening onto a container or a fastening band (2).

6. Method of operation of the reminder for drinking liquids, preferably water, characterized by including the following steps:

- insertion of a battery into the reminder, checking functioning of all sensors (5, 6, 7) and fastening of the reminder to the container; a Countdown interval is set as a function of environmental temperature detected by the temperature sensor (6), the reminder switches to the Countdown state, the timer (9) starts counting down the set time;

- any time the motion sensor (7) detects that the container has moved in the z- axis for a certain tilt and for a certain time in the time interval, the reminder remains in the Countdown state, the timer (9) resets;

- if the motion sensor (7) does not detect any movement of the container in the Countdown state, and if the illumination sensor (5) does not detect a drop in the ambient light below a pre-set value, the reminder switches to the Remind state, wherein the light indicator (8) starts flashing with a certain frequency and intensity;

- if the motion sensor (7) detects movement Of the container in the Remind state, the reminder switches back to the Countdown state, the timer (9) is reset;

- if the motion sensor (7) does not detect any movement of the container in the Remind state, the reminder Switches to the LightSleep state, wherein a LightSleep time interval is set on the timer (9); if the motion sensor (7) detects a movement of the container in the LightSleep state, the reminder Switches back to the Countdown state;

- if the motion sensor (7) does not detect any movement of the container in the LightSleep state, the reminder switches to the Sleep state once the time interval of the LightSleep state has expired; if the motion sensor (7) detects the presence Of the user, the reminder switches from the Sleep state to the Remind state, wherein the light indicator (8) starts flushing with a certain frequency and intensity; if the motion sensor (7) detects movement of the container, the reminder switches back to the Countdown state.

7. Method according to claim 6, characterized in that the illumination sensor (5) checks the level of ambient light each time when the Countdown time interval has expired, and if the illumination sensor (5) detects a drop in ambient light below a pre-set value, the reminder switches to the DeepSleep state, wherein the DeepSleep state time interval is set on the timer (9).

8. Method according to claims 6 and 7, characterized in that the illumination sensor (5) periodically checks ambient light, wherein, if the ambient light is below the pre-set value, the reminder remains in the DeepSleep state, the DeepSleep state time interval is reset; if the ambient light is increased above the pre-set value, the reminder switches to the Sleep state.

Description:
Smart reminder for drinking liquids and its method of operation

The invention refers to a reminder for drinking liquids, primarily water, attachable to any container. The reminder reminds a user by an optical signal at certain time intervals to drink liquid/water from a container.

Drinking water is important for health. It is recommended for an adult person to drink at least 1.5 litres of water in a day. A majority of people forget about this during the day and drink too little water, what is reflected in their physical condition and health.

A variety of smart bottles are available on the market that warn users in different ways to drink water in order to avoid dehydration and can optionally measure the quantity of water intake. An adequate electronic control circuit is arranged either in a bottle cap or in a specially designed stand or in a bottle wall. The currently known variants available on the market require a mandatory use of a specified bottle/container.

The smart reminder for drinking liquids does away with these drawbacks as it is designed in a way to be attachable to any container: bottle, glass, cup. So there is no need to buy a specific bottle and no need for the user to carry the bottle with him all the time. The user should only carry the smart reminder with him, which is attachable to any container that is available at a given moment.

The smart reminder for drinking liquids of the invention comprises a two-parts housing accommodating an electronic control circuit with a timer, a motion sensor, an illumination sensor, a temperature sensor, a light indicator, a battery, and optionally a fastening band.

The motion sensor is a very sensitive 3-axial motion sensor that detects acceleration and movement in x, y and z axes not only of the container, onto which the reminder is attached, but also detects vibrations caused by the user's motion and transferred from a floor onto a table and the container. These detections are transferred from the motion sensor to the control circuit which according to ah algorithm adequately activates the logic states of the reminder and consequently the light indicator.

The illumination sensor detects ambient light. Data about the quantity of ambient light are transmitted to the electronic control circuit which controls the light indicator accordingly. For instance, if the ambient light is low, the light indicator glows less.

The temperature sensor measures environmental temperature. Data on environmental temperature are transmitted to the electronic control circuit which uses an algorithm to calculate the time intervals, at which the light indicator will be actuated. The higher the environmental temperatures, the more often water should be drunk and the time interval is adequately shorter.

A light indicator is any light indicator with a possibility of intensity regulation of transmitted light and does not use much energy for its operation; it is controlled by the control circuit in accordance with the algorithm. The light indicator is preferably a high intensity LED.

The electronic control circuit obtains data from the motion sensor, the illumination sensor, the temperature sensor and the timer, and controls the operation of the light indicator with an algorithm by way of logic states. The electronic control circuit is preferably a 32-bit ARM microcontroller.

The battery is a button cell; the battery is preferably a conventional CR2032 battery.

The housing is of two parts and consists of a cap and a body. The housing is made at least in one segment from a semi-transparent plastic material allowing the user to see an optical signal, i. e. light emitted by the light indicator. The two-part design of the housing allows for a simple battery exchange. The housing is provided at its rear side by a fastening element, with which the reminder is attached to any container or to a fastening band. In the embodiment, the fastening element is formed as a fold and is an integral part of the cap of the housing. The fastening band can be formed in any known ways, it must simply allow fixation to a selected container. In the embodiment, the fastening band is formed from an elastic silicone band.

The smart reminder functions according to an algorithm in several logic states, namely in the Countdown state, the Remind state, the LightSleep state, the Sleep state and the DeepSleep state. A method of operation of the smart reminder and correlation between individual logic states will be described hereinbelow.

Once the battery is inserted into the reminder, all sensors are checked for their functioning. A time interval for the Countdown state is determined based on the environmental temperature detected by the temperature sensor. The reminder is set to the Countdown state, the timer starts counting down the pre-set time.

Any time the smart reminder detects that the user drinks water within a time interval of the Countdown state, this means that the container has moved in the z-axis for a certain tilt and for a certain time, hich is detected by the motion sensor, the reminder remains in the Countdown state, the timer resets. Each adequate tilt of the container is always, i. e. in each of the logic states, confirmed by the reminder by emitting an adequate light signal of the light indicator.

Once the time interval of the Countdown state has expired and provided that the motion sensor does not detect any motion of the container in this time interval, this means that the user does not drink water, and the illumination sensor does not detect a drop in the ambient light below a pre-set value, the reminder switches to the Remind state, in which the light indicator starts flashing with a certain frequency and intensity. The intensity of flashing is determined on the basis of ambient light: in the event of lower light the intensity of the light signal emitted by the light indicator is lower. The flashing frequency, the flashing length, the breaks and the flashing intensity were empirically determined on a plurality of test users. If the user drinks water in the Remind state, this is detected by the motioh sensor and the reminder switches back to the Countdown state, the timer starts counting down the set time.

If the motion sensor does not detect any movement of the container in the Remind state, the reminder switches to the LightSleep state, wherein a LightSleep state time interval is set in the timer. Duration of this state is pre-set by the timer. In the LightSleep state, the reminder only reacts to drinking, i. e. movement of the container in the z-axis for a certain tilt and for a certain time. If the user drinks water in the LightSleep state, this is detected by the motion sensor and the reminder switches back to the Countdown state.

If the motion sensor does not detect any movement of the container in the LightSleep state, the reminder switches to the Sleep state once the time interval of the LightSleep state has expired. In the Sleep state the motion sensor not only detects drinking actions but also vibrations from the environment caused by the user in the vicinity of the container and the presence of the user. Once the motion sensor detects the presence of the user, the illumination sensor checks the level of ambient light. If the illumination sensor does not detect a drop in the ambient light below a pre-set value, the reminder switches from the Sleep state to the Remind state, wherein the light indicator starts flashing with a certain frequency and intensity. If the illumination sensor detects a drop in the ambient light below a pre-set value, the reminder switches to the DeepSleep state, wherein the DeepSleep state time interval is set on the timer.

Each time the pre-set time in the Countdown state has expired, the illumination sensor checks the level of ambient light. If the illumination sensor does not detect a drop in the ambient light below the pre-set value, the reminder switches from one state to another as described above. If the illumination sensor detects a drop in the ambient light below the pre-set value, the reminder switches to the DeepSleep state, wherein the DeepSleep state time interval is set on the timer. This is usually at night when it is dark. Duration of this state is pre-set by the timer. When the time interval has expired, the illumination sensor checks ambient light and if it is still dark, the reminder remains in the DeepSleep state, the duration time is reset. Checking is carried out periodically in compliance with the set duration tifne. When the ambient light increases above the pre-set value, the illumination sensor transmits data to the control circuit and the reminder switches to the Sleep state.

The smart reminder for drinking liquids and its mode of operation are illustrated hereinbelow by an embodiment and drawings, in which:

Figure 1 shows a reminder of the invention in axonometric view;

Figure 2 shows an embodiment of the reminder of the invention;

Figures 3.1 and 3.2 show a flowchart of logic states of the reminder and their correlation.

A smart reminder for drinking water comprises a two-parts housing that consists of a cap 1a and a body 1b. The rear part of the cap 1a is provided with a fold 1c, with which the reminder is hooked onto a silicone band 2 which can be attached on any container. The body b of the reminder houses a control circuit 4 with a timer 9, an illumination sensor 5, a temperature sensor 6, a motion sensor 7, a LED 8, and a battery 10. When the battery 10 is inserted into the body 1 b, the reminder is switched on, wherein the reminder first checks all sensors for their operation. In the event Of proper functioning, LED 8 flashes rapidly 10-times, if there is something wrong with the functioning Of the sensors, the LED 8 goes on and the reminder automatically turns off.

When the reminder is turned on, the timer 9 for countdown is reset and the reminder switches to the Countdown state. Depending on external temperature, the timer 9 being in the Countdown state is set to a time in the range between 30 and 40 mih. Whenever the reminder detects by way of the motion sensor 7 that the user is drinking water, a correct user's action is confirmed by a single slow flash of the LED 8. A correct user's action means that a tilt angle of the container in the z-axis is at least 15 degrees and the tilt time amounts to at least 2 seconds. In this case, the timer 9 resets to the Countdown state, if the user drinks out of the container at its own initiative, the LED 8 confirms the correct action each time by a single slow flash, the timer 9 is reset each time, the reminder remains in the Countdown state.

If the user does not drink water, the reminder switches to the Remind state after the time has expired. The LED 8 starts flashing rapidly with a frequency of 8 Hz: 10 repeats of 30 flashes ith 5-second intermediate breaks. If the user is drinking water in the Remind state, the LED 8 confirms the correct user's action by a single flash and the reminder switches back to the Countdown state. If the user does not drink water in the Remind state, the reminder switches to the LightSleep state. The timer 9 of the LightSleep state is activated and the time is Set to 30 minutes. If no action is detected by the motion sensor 7 after 30 minutes have elapsed, the reminder switches to the Sleep state. In this state, the motion sensor 7 detects not only a drinking action but also micro vibrations from the environment and consequently the presence of the user. If the motion sensor 7 detects the presence of the user and the illumination sensor 5 does not detect a drop in the ambient temperature below a pre-set value, the reminder switches to the Remind state. The LED 8 starts flashing rapidly with a frequency of 8 Hz: 10 repeats of 30 flashes with 5-second intermediate breaks. If the motion sensor detects drinking of water, the LED 8 confirms the correct user's action by a single slow flash and the reminder c vitches back to the Countdown state. If the illumination sensor 5 detects a drop in the ambient light below the pre-set value, the reminder switches to the DeepSleep state.

Each time the pre-set time in the Countdown state has expired, the illumination sensor 5 checks the level of ambient light. If the illumination sensor 5 does not detect a drop in the ambient light below the pre-set value, the reminder switches from the Remind state to the LightSleep state and then to the Sleep state as described above. If the illumination sensor 5 detects a drop in the ambient light below the pre-set value, the reminder switches to the DeepSleep state, which is normally at night when it is dark. The timer 9 of the DeepSleep state is activated and the time is set to 30 minutes. When 30 minutes have expired, the illumination sensor 5 checks ambient light and if it is still dark, the reminder remains in the DeepSleep state, the duration time is reset. Checking is carried out periodically in compliance with the set duration time, i. e. each 30 minutes. When the ambient light increases above the pre-set value, the illumination sensor 5 transmits data to the control circuit 4 and the reminder switches to the Sleep state.

Regardless of the fact, in which logic state the reminder is currently in, the LED 8 always confirms a correct user's action by one single slow flash when the user is drinking water.

Main functionalities of the smart reminder of the invention are:

- reminding of water drinking in optimal intervals as a function of timer and environmental temperature;

- optimal LED signalisation with a precisely determined frequency of flashes, intervals and intensity for detection in the user's peripheral vision;

- illumination intensity of the LED is determined as a function of ambient light in order to lower energy consumption:

- automatic detection of drinking by means of the motion sensor and the timer;

- device's automatic switching off after a certain time and in the event of user's inactivity or at night;

- device's automatic switching on by means of detection of presence of the user by means of the motion sensor;

- advanced operation mode of the application in the micro controller with the intention of reduction in energy consumption and ensuring device's autonomy over 6 months;

- advanced mode of checking sensor operation and of warning a production worker in the event of troubles.