Breaking a Sweat – Gatorade’s Wearable Device

Drew Pellin, Contributor

Sports drink dominator, Gatorade, is releasing a new type of workout accessory – the Gx Sweat Patch. The wearable device is a one-time-use patch that tracks your sweat during your workout. Gatorade’s latest product analyzes and provides the user insights about your hydration levels, performance, and electrolyte concentration. The patch should be worn on the left inner arm during a single workout. After the workout, users scan the sweat-filled patch using the Gatorade app on their smartphone to inspect their distinctive sweat profile. The Gx Sweat Patches are sold in packs of two for $24.99 online and at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Gatorade’s Gx Patch and Gx App are additions to their Gx bottles and pods. Their Gx platform started with a squeeze bottle with a flip cap that lets you customize your drink with different flavors and concentration of pods containing electrolytes and carbohydrates to help you rehydrate after a strenuous workout. The digital ecosystem between the patch and the app allows for direct results from the data using machine learning that keeps adding on to your digital sweat profile.

The profile is combined with many specific details and scenarios such as activity, intensity, duration, and whether to generate the most personalized sports recommendations to help you recover and get the most out of your workouts. The Gx Sweat Patch measures sweat levels, sodium losses in the forearm, and body weight and provides hydration strategies to maximize performance by avoiding dehydration and cramping. The profile allows you to compare it to other workouts and make changes to your workout approach. Gatorade’s smart design overcame many obstacles and transformed sweat testing into a fast, simple, and accessible device to everyone.

The supple patch is less than a millimeter thick and easily sticks to the forearm to uphold a watertight seal to the skin. When the user sweats, it is absorbed through tiny holes in the back of the patch that causes a reaction displayed on the patch. There are two channels on the patch, a zig-zag across the patch and a line on the right side. The zig-zag turns orange as sweat is absorbed that visualizes sweat rate and the line on the right side turns shades of purple that visualizes sodium levels. When scanned in the Gx app, qualitative data is taken and processed using image-recognition technology. The different colored lines on the patch help the smartphone camera and app capture and ensure accuracy of the data.

The profile then turns your data into algorithms to show the user’s needs and match those needs with other Gatorade products in their ecosystem to help them prepare for future workouts. This is a very smart marketing plan that paves the way for more Gatorade to be sold as well. The world is increasing the capabilities of biometric fitness tracking, and Gatorade took a step in the right direction to help athletes and users achieve their fitness goals.

Gatorade’s approach to the new device came from a big trend in the industry, the rise of personalization and customization. Gatorade executive, Brett O’Brien, stated “The Gx System represents the evolution of how we’re serving athletes. By offering intelligence to help them make choices about everything from their fueling plan to training to recovery, we’re supporting athletes like never before”. With Gatorade holding a 72% market share of the sports drink industry, this device will help them maintain their dominance and brand credibility in a crowded industry with evolving brands such as BodyArmour and competitor, Powerade.

The Gx System represents the evolution of how we’re serving athletes. By offering intelligence to help them make choices about everything from their fueling plan to training to recovery, we’re supporting athletes like never before

— Brett O'Brien

Gatorade differentiated themselves from their competitors by jumping into sports science and provide athletes and users the best recommendations on training, recovery, and nutrition. From what used to have to be tested in labs, Gatorade’s accessible and easy to use sweat patch allows athletes to get one step closer to the next level and continue to maximize their abilities. Gatorade’s sophisticated branding is allowing the Gx sweat patch to effectively hit the market and gain popularity. However, putting the price at $24.99 for two patches that can be only worn once seems a little high. Gatorade is setting the bar high for the sports drink industry by actively defending their turf through the innovative technology used to create the Gx sweat patch.