How to make drinking water cool

I’ve always liked challenges and when I learnt that Laurea Leppävaara will be hosting the Global Service Jam in February 2016 I decided to take part. So far, I’ve been pretty much a novice in service design, but I like the idea of “learning by doing”, which is a key element of service design and the motto of Laurea. The 48-hour workshop started with an interesting lecture about empathy and how it can be efficiently used in service design. After the lecture we were tense and unsure what the future (evening) holds. The only thing we knew was that within the next few minutes the global Jam theme would be pronounced. The minutes were long and I felt like time just slows down. My heart rate increased by the minute, I was so excited! When the theme was finally released I guess I was not the only one who was totally flabbergasted. They announced the theme in a form of sound that sounded like something had just dropped into water. After that, we (jammers) were instructed to write down one problem which first comes to our mind around this theme. The best ideas were selected by scoring them. Every jammer then chose the most interesting idea out of them and teams were built.

team coolWater

The main problem of our team concerned how to reduce the usage of water bottles (plastic bottles). At the same time we wanted the user look cool when using the bottle. While brainstorming, ideas were eagerly exchanged, laugh could not be avoided and it was funny to note that most of the team members carried plastic water bottles with them. Eventually, we came up with an idea to create an intelligent, cool looking reusable water bottle, coolWater, which can be filled up at coolWater refill stations. We did not want to concentrate only on the appearance but also on the material. The bottle needs to be durable, ecological and easy to carry.  This led us to consider a brand new smart, carbon fibre bottle. We also thought about today´s technology. The coolWater bottle has a sensor which is connected to the user´s smartphone. It provides current data, for example the amount of bacteria inside the bottle and alerts when the bottle needs to be washed. From the health perspective, when the user grabbs the bottle it measures his/her level of hydration and sends the information to the user´s coolWater app.


Finally, last but not least, the bottle label can be personalized. The users can download their own photos into the label which is made of electronic paper. Besides the intelligent bottle, we wanted to create a user-friendly app. By using the coolWater app the user can easily order the bottle with the features he/she likes and the navigation system helps finding the nearest coolWater refill station which can be found on airports, shopping centers, gyms, schools, etc. Therefore, the users are not forced to refill their water bottles in the public restrooms anymore.

In order to understand the need for this kind of intelligent water bottle, we conducted a consumer survey at shopping center Sello. We got a lot of good feedback and most of the participants told us they would buy the bottle if made available. The participants felt that the most important features of the bottle were cleanliness, easy washing and a personalized layout.

As we know, 48 hours is a very short time to create a totally new service design but we made it! We were able to draft business model canvas for coolWater, create personas according to consumer research and make a video which presented the prototype.


Our team had a lot of talent for which I am truly thankful. But we were not the only ones. 48 hours of work culminated in great presentations which all had something unique and innovative for the listeners.

Now, few weeks later I am still smiling. 🙂 It was just phenomenal to work with people you did not know before and build the best group spirit ever. Thank you to my teammates Karolina, Laura, Hanna, Mika, and Jouni for making this possible. I would also like to thank our mentors whose support was supervaluable. Last but not least, a warm thank you to the organizers of this event, you made it memorable. All the information I gathered about service design within these 48 hours is now in use in my daily work. I can easily say this was one the best experiences in my life and I want to say to anyone who has the opportunity to take part in the jams in the future, go for it!


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