Be mindful, save water
It’s fair to say that most of us have no idea how much water we use every day. When we turn on the faucet to brush our teeth or wash the dishes, water just flows — with no sense of how it all adds up, or how our own habits affect the larger picture of municipal and environmental water reserves. Oasys aims to make household water consumption more visible, by giving homeowners real-time data that puts their water use into context.
Oasys consists of a wireless sensor that attaches to the home’s water main, and a wall-mounted display with a touch-screen interface. The sensor is on a band that simply wraps around the outside of a pipe, and communicates with the wall unit over Wi-Fi to track when water is flowing.
The circular display shows both current and historical water usage, and will glow red if it detects a possible leak or excessive water use (like running a faucet for half an hour). It can also pull in data about the status of local reservoirs or the precipitation forecast, which helps users understand the big picture of water use and see how changing their own household habits can make a difference.
One possible drawback is that the sensor, while dead simple to install, has limited battery life. The developers are working to extend it from a few weeks to a few months. But depending on the design of the home, it could be inconvenient to access the water main every time the sensor’s charge runs low.
Oasys began life at the Imagine Creativity Center in Silicon Valley, and continued development as part of StartupBootcamp Barcelona. It’s now on Kickstarter through October 31, with plans to ship in May 2016.