Everyone is waiting for the Internet of Things. The funny thing is, it is already here. Contrary to expectation, though, it isn’t just a bunch of devices that have a chip and an internet connection.The killer app of the Internet of Things isn’t a thing at all—it is services. And they are being delivered by an unlikely cast of characters: Uber Technologies Inc., SolarCity Corp., ADT Corp., and Comcast Corp., to name a few. One recent entrant: the Brita unit of Clorox Corp., which just introduced a Wi-Fi-enabled “smart” pitcher that can re-order its own water filters.
The Middle East, Caribbean, and Oceania account for 283 billion cubic meters of freshwater demand, and solar- and wave-powered desalination can be the low-cost solution, according to Lux Research. Desalination — converting sea water into fresh water — will grow at 8 percent annually to 140 million cubic meters daily in 2020, Lux predicts, reflecting soaring demand in some parts of the world and growing viability of renewable energy technologies.
Blynk is an easy to use app builder that allows users to add a variety of buttons, sliders, graphical displays and even RGB controllers to their phone. The SparkFun Blynk Board is specially designed to work with the ‘widgets’ within the Blynk mobile app to create your next IoT project. Monitor local weather conditions, control LEDs from your phone, even send a tweet when it’s time to water your plants!
California is in its fourth year of a serious drought. In April 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown renewed his emergency declaration and imposed a mandatory 25 percent statewide water reduction. This means all Californians need to reduce water use from 2013 levels. As the drought persists, tensions in the state have mounted as urban and agricultural water users begin to comply with more restrictions including reduced lawn watering and new limits on water use by businesses.
Silver Spring Networks has been selected by New Braunfels Utilities to deploy its multi-application network across the city for a comprehensive Dynamic Metering Infrastructure program supporting both electricity and water services. The Silver Spring smart grid networking platform will help New Braunfels Utilities control costs, improve outage response, enhance customer communications, and deliver expanded energy and water services to its customers. New Braunfels Utilities is a municipally owned utility that delivers electricity, water, and wastewater services for more than 60,000 residents of New Braunfels, a fast growing city along the Austin-to-San Antonio Interstate-35 corridor in central Texas.
I wake up in the middle of the night, mouth parched and vision blurry, and fumble around to find my iPhone. I press my thumb to the fingerprint scanner, and in the dim blue light, just out of instinct, I squint at the screen, find the right app, open it, and check the ambient temperature and air quality indoors. It turns out my goose bumps are lying; the temperature is quite comfortable and not arctic-level freezing, which is how it feels to me. Now, I touch a virtual switch, and warm yellow light illuminates my way to the kitchen. I slowly waddle towards the water bottle without stumbling over one of my cats, have a drink, and safely waddle back to bed. Another tap on my app screen, and the light fades away; I sleep.
Samsung-owned SmartThings has finally launched its new home hub along with new sensors and a new video monitoring capability.The Samsung SmartThings Hub is available now in the U.S. and on Sept. 10 in the U.K. The hub costs $99 with sensors ranging from $30 to $55. There are now more than 200 compatible devices.The hub and connected sensors can be used to control the lights, thermostats and doors, and warn about things such as water leaks. It works with ZigBee and Z-Wave radios.
D-Link expanded its selection of Wi-Fi-based home-automation products with the shipment of what it called the industry’s first Wi-Fi water-leak sensor.Unlike battery-operated water-leak sensors that use other wireless technologies, D-Link’s $59 mydlink one-piece Wi-Fi Water Sensor (DCH-S160) plugs into a power outlet near washers, sinks, and water heaters for power.
In two separate developments Itron, a clean energy technology and services company, has agreed to deploy its smart solutions to respective authorities.In Tennessee, the Water and Sewer Department (MWSD) of the city of Murfreesboro, has selected Itron smart water solution to modernize its water distribution system.MWSD, which has a consumer base of nearly 100,000, hopes to effectively and efficiently manage the delivery and use of water through automation, leak detection and analytics.
Around the world, there has been very little relief from drought, according to the latest analysis from the National Integrated Drought Information System. With no relief and a bleak forecast, more cities are looking for innovative solutions to their water woes.In the U.S., the entire West Coast is struggling with droughts of varying degrees, with most of California and parts of Nevada in exceptional drought, the most severe stage. A number of regions, including the Arabian Peninsula and parts of Australia, India and China, are draining three-quarters or more of the water from their rivers.