Consuming enough fluids not only contributes to a healthy lifestyle, but can also prevent dehydration. Hospitals regularly admit people who display symptoms of dehydration. Elderly people are especially likely to be admitted for dehydration, as the thirst stimulus decreases with age. Hospital admissions for dehydration costs the Netherlands 180 million euros per year.

Based on a question from a major German care institution, Panton and Fresh Idea Factory have developed Obli to help clients consume enough fluids.


Obli supports people to develop a healthy lifestyle by encouraging them to drink fluids regularly and by providing them with feedback on their drinking behaviour. The clearly visible colour circle on the Obli product stimulates individuals in a simple, intuitive manner. When the circle is green, then the individual’s fluid balance is good; when Obli turns red or orange, it is a good idea to drink a glass of water. After the person has drunk something, Obli indicates how much of the user’s daily fluid intake has been consumed so far.

Users can enter their own preferred beverages in Obli; whether it is a carafe of water or an apple juice pack, Obli registers how much the user has drunk during the day. The light circle then changes colour when it is time to drink again. In addition to the content of a bottle or carafe, the user can enter other consumptions as well: coffee, tea, or other non-alcoholic beverages can be registered by pressing the plus button.

Via a smartphone app, the users, caregivers or care professionals can obtain an easy-to-read overview of the user’s compliance data. Personal settings can be changed per user.

Supporting behavioural change

The developers of Obli wanted the product to support the essential needs for behavioural change. To that end, several powerful persuasive principles were included in its design:

Obli uses a light ring to give a clear, but not coercive signal that the user should drink something. The carafe of water is included in Obli so that it is easy for the user to actually drink something immediately. One of the functions that users appreciate is that the colour circle provides feedback on how much the user has already drunk over the course of the day. This gives people a clear target for the day, and stimulates them to reach the target. Finally, the user’s social surroundings are involved in the behavioural change, because Obli gives the caregiver the option of viewing the compliance data remotely.

User experience

“Obli is a wonderful, simple solution for people who don’t drink enough fluids. Our clients consider Obli to be a very user-friendly device, and our employees have a useful tool at their disposal to monitor drinking behaviour. And most importantly: we have noticed a dramatic increase in fluid intake!” Thea Vorenkamp (District Nurse at Sensire, Zutphen)


Panton and Fresh Idea Factory

Mario de Zeeuw


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