A new player has dived into the water industry. Established in 2017, based in London, Hydrate.Direct employs the latest in Internet of Things (IoT) technology, using a ‘smart button’ that allows customers to order more water at the press of a button. The button – like the Amazon Dash button used by major FMCG companies – is a secure WiFi-connected device that can be set up by the customer in minutes. It is pre-configured to know the customer’s delivery and payment details, and what quantity of bottled water they want with each order.
Normally businesses and customers of bottled water coolers – particularly those outside of the major cities – must contact a water delivery company by traditional means, and there is no guarantee when they will get their water. This is a big problem for customers, especially when their water is low or has run out completely. With the Hydrate.Direct button, customers can now simply press the button when their water is running low and they get their new water delivered next day. This simplifying of the ordering process has given control back to the customer.
Hydrate.Direct is one of the first UK SMEs to be accepted onto Amazon’s IoT Enterprise Programme (within Amazon Web Services – AWS). As well as using their IoT button, they utilise their cloud technology and Lambda functionality. This secure set up is robust, scalable, and dynamic: they can respond to demand quickly, and adjust the button functionality if needed to different types of customers.
The innovative company are looking to roll out in the US, and Australia, where the demand for a reliable water delivery service for bottled water is strong within the domestic, as well as office market.
UK manufactured and service
Hydrate.Direct make healthy hydration as simple as possible. They sell only natural British mineral water, bottled at source in Scotland. Manufactured in the UK, the water coolers provide customers with chilled mineral water on tap.
The water is bottled directly from source in the heather and forest clad hills of Central Scotland, located at the site of an Artesian Well in Lanarkshire. The well has provided drinking water for local people and passing trade since the seventeenth century when it was a watering hole on the Glasgow to Edinburgh stagecoach route.
The coolers are manufactured in the UK by Ebac, come in a range of bright and attractive colours, and feature all the latest technology such as a patented Cassette WaterTrail for sanitisation in less than 60 seconds. The advantage it has for customers is convenience. Traditional water coolers have required an engineer to service a water cooler every three months – requiring access to a customer and their time. With Hydrate Direct’s cooler and WaterTrail one simple change means that a water cooler is cleansed and ready for the next three months of hygienic use.
The Hydrate ‘smart’ button gives control back to the customer. The WiFi-enabled device is easy to set up, and once placed on your cooler enables you to get water next day by simply pressing the button. They are one of the first small-medium businesses in the UK – and the first in the bottled water delivery industry – to offer this innovation and time-saving technology to customers.