Jalajap- A band to encourage water drinking behaviour

IDC IIT Bombay India

This post presents a small project that explores use of a toy to encourage users (me) to drink more water. It was made in a time when I was medically advised to drink more water and I was reading play theory and behaviour change theory.


Jalajap is behaviour change device that helps user keep a count of the number of times they have refilled a water bottle. The user drinks water from a standard 1l water bottle. He places this band of beads on the bottle and moves the bead from the grove to the other side of the band. The bead in the grove shows the active bottle and the beads on the left are the amount of water bottles consumed. It was designed by me during a time when I had started drinking less water and wanted a way to keep a tab on number of bottles left. The presence of the device creates a opportunity of play and induces novelty in the behaviour.

The name Jalajap is derived from two words - jal/जल , which is water and Jap/जाप , which is to count prayers. Hence, it poetically means water counter.


This project was done at a time when I was exploring the topic of using toys for behaviour change (If you know anyone offering a PhD on this or related topics, please let me know 😎) .Coincidently, I was diagnosed with a kidney stone due to drinking less water and being kind of stressed due to project uncertainties. I thought of counting the number of water bottles, I could drink using matchsticks, but that did not work. The matchstick were not related to the behaviour. I needed something to carry with me. So, i used an app. But! I am not a “phone in a pocket guy”, so even that did not work for me. One day having recently bought new bottle from decathlon, I came up with a thought to use the bottle to visualize the consumption. Initially, I tried with some markers. But, they did not work on wet bottles. Then, while I was binding my monthly diary, I though of using beads on an elasti cord. Excited to make, I quickly ran to the studio and stationary shop to pick stuff. The first band was built in about 2 hours of some dremel wood crafting.

Then, to measure change, I would log water consumption (using beads) on a table before sleeping. I did it for about 10 days. The graph of my consumption is shown below :

Initially, I was excited to use the device. I would check the device at 8pm and there would be just 2 beads. Then before 12am, I would finish 2L of water. Slowly, I divided the bottles throughout the day, Two beads till evening cycling, one bead before dinner, and one bead after dinner. That seemed to work out pretty well actually. At least, the average water consumption was increased to 3.5L .