Living in high-rise apartments can come with its own set of problems like sharing of water, power and gas connections with neighbours. However, two Bengaluru -based techies—Vivek Shukla and Kasturi Rangan who were colleagues at Wipro EcoEnergy and neighbours—have come up with an ideal and smart solution to tackle the problems such as water leakages, inequitable consumption and excess billing. They have developed a system that replaces the old processes and products with the better and performing ones.
“We believe in providing quick, easy and simple solutions for housing societies to adopt individual water metering. Our core product ‘WaterOn’ is a device that measures water consumption in individual apartments. People who install our smart meters have found that their usage has gone down by 35-40 per cent,” they say.
If Shukla, 39, is the new-age entrepreneur who believes in living intelligently and in an intelligent world, his friend Rangan, 44, enjoys building products and inter-twining them with solutions and wrapping service around them. With this combined thought, both set up SmartrHomes Technologies in 2014 and have been working towards bringing intelligence to devices around us since then.
Most housing societies today either charge a flat fee or a fee based upon apartment area for water bills. This means that some residents pay for others’ usage as well. The two techies worked on developing a system so that the recurring issues of water provisioning among residents were solved permanently. In February 2014, they came out with a prototype of a wireless water meter that could tabulate individual consumption, detect leakages with other add on features.
Rangan, the company’s CTO adds, “A lot of people used to unnecessarily store water in huge drums fearing lack of supply, plug the leakages in their bathrooms, kitchens, etc. Now they don’t need to do all these. Their water consumption has gone down considerably.”
The company bagged its first commercial order in August last year and many more have come their way since then.
Till date, WaterOn is operational in 700 houses in Bengaluru. They have a work order for around 2,500 meters, which includes large, medium and small apartment complexes. They have their presence in Hyderabad with two projects in hand. Other than this, they are foraying into markets abroad, including Finland, Holland and Indonesia. They have also successfully developed a WiFi water meter for a Dutch customer.
“We have developed a system that is totally stable, reliable and fully automated. The minimal cost of implementing the smart meters ranges between `25,000-30,000, depending on the number of inlets and the size of the accommodation. Installation of a valve will cost another `1,500,” they say.
The company is looking for raising funds to scale up its operations in newer markets and having discussions in countries such as Holland, Finland, the UK, South East Asia, Chile and the US.
They are also working on two other mass utility services—gas and power meters. “We are in fairly advanced prototype stage,” Rangan says.
Apart from this, they are also working on the development of optical readers so that existing meters can be retained. If optical readers can be used in the existing water meters, what will be the need for Waterons? Rangan says, “The idea is to convert existing dumb meters into smart meters by using optical readers backed with WaterOn technology. There are millions of normal meters having a need for remote reading and leakage detection. With this technology, we can fulfil the need and bridge this gap as well.”
The company will soon be launching WaterOn WiFi on Amazon for retail customers.