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Buoy’s US$799 water monitor can differentiate shower from flushing toilet by water flow

Buoy’s US$799 water monitor can differentiate shower from flushing toilet by water flow
With the help of modern technologies and the Internet of Things, how can we save water usage? A company called Buoy Labs has introduced a new gadget which is claimed to be able to detect water leaks and water usage for various purposes.

The device, also named Buoy, sits between a home’s water lines, records water flow data and sends the data via Wi-Fi connection for further analysis.

What makes Buoy different is its back-end machine learning algorithm, which can categorize water usage based on the flow rate. For example, it can differentiate water usage among showers, flushing toilets and running faucets. Multiple categories supplying water at the same time can also be differentiated, the company claims.

With the companion mobile app, users may check on water usage throughout the day and by categories. However, the service ends at providing data. How homeowners may reduce water usage is still their own decisions.

The app can also send alerts when the device detects water leakage. When this happens, it allows users to shut down their water line from the mobile app, which is helpful to homeowners who don’t live in their properties all the time.

Buoy’s idea was developed during an ongoing drought few years ago in California by Keri Waters, co-founder and CEO of Buoy. The drought in California “is a canary in the coal mine of what’s coming for the whole country,” said Waters. Buoy’s 17-people team aims to make cutting down water usage a little easier.

Many homeowners believes that shorter showers helps to reduce water usage, but there are more ways to conserve water around the house. According to Buoy, 10% of homes in the U.S. have wasteful leaks and correcting them could cut down the water usage by 10%. Therefore, dealing with water leaks at the right time is also important.

Although there are other companies that have launched similar services, Buoy might be the first one to provide automatic water usage categorization. Buoy costs US$799, which includes installation by a plumber. The product is available now.

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