About 20 years ago, Tamagotchi’s were all the rage – one of the biggest toy fads ever. For those who missed it, or blinked, the toy sold over 75 million units before it was forgotten. It was the first handheld digital pet simulation game, created in Japan, as a small egg-shaped compute.
The on screen game was about the Tamagotchis – a small alien species that deposited an egg on Earth to see what life was like, and it is up to the player to raise the egg into an adult creature. The egg could be an animal or a person. Colorful, simple and the better the decisions made by the player, the happier and healthier the alien is. The game was originally designed to teach Japanese girls how to raise children.
Now on Kickstarter, the concept is back and just like the forerunner, the objective is to “enhance physical and mental wellness in children through advanced technologies, interactive products, and compelling content.” This time, however, instead of being housed in a keychain, it’s in a water bottle.
The Gululu Interactive Bottle, according the company’s website, empowers “Kids (to) choose from a variety of virtual pets, each with its own unique personality and story. The pets live in the 'Gululu Universe' and grow as your child drinks water.”
The company marketing the Gululu points to a Harvard study, which said that good hydration is linked with higher levels of cognition and attention in kids. Parents can set a water-drinking goal for their children and there’s even a “school mode” so that the digital-pets-cum-bottles don’t cause a distraction at school. Pretty funny, since many blame the crash of the Tamagotchi fad on schools that banned the toy.
Each water bottle will have a display, home button, embedded sensors, Wi-Fi, and wireless charging, with a retail price of $99.