In recent years, the smart home market has experienced rapid innovation, from clever doorbells that make your home more secure to smart thermostats that save you money on your energy bill.
It was only a matter of time before the water caught up.
New innovations for the 'smart water home' mean consumers can now reduce their water consumption, get real-time data on water quality and better safeguard their properties from sudden leaks and unexpected burst pipes.
But with water demand on the rise and the prediction that by 2025, two-thirds of the global population is expected to live in water-stressed areas, could these new innovations help reduce our water use? We take a look at four innovations that are making their way into homes.
Water security and safety
When it comes to water issues in the house, there are few cases worse than a burst pipe. Water damage to a property is expensive to fix and up until a few years ago, was difficult to predict and prevent.
Now, the smart water home can save you from having to rip up the floor.
“If the smart water valve detects an issue it will alert users through the app so they can fix it before that issue causes damage.”
One of the latest innovations for water security is Flo by bathroom and kitchen giant, Moen. The smart home water security system features a suite of products to protect homes from water damage and leaks.
The Smart Water Shutoff monitors the entire water supply system for leaks and vulnerabilities, while the Smart Water Detector senses leaks and moisture outside of the pipes, such as overflowing drains, appliance failures, or weather-related issues.
If the smart water valve detects an issue, it will alert users through the app so they switch off their water supply remotely, before it causes damage.
Elsewhere, Kohler also offers a water security product, after a partnership with start-up, Phyn. Called the Kohler Whole Home Water Monitor Powered by Phyn, the DIY smart water shut off gives homeowners high-definition pressure wave analysis that monitors water flow to immediately notify if a leak is detected anywhere in the home.
In-home water recycling
One company that is making a name for itself in the smart water home space is Dutch start-up Hydraloop and its decentralised water recycling products.
“Its decentralised products, the H300 and H600 are able to reuse up to 85 per cent of total in-house water.”
Financially backed by Dutch multinational Rabobank and manufacturer Niverplast, the company provides a solution that enables shower, bath, washing machine and sink water to be recycled.
Its decentralised products, the H300 and H600 are able to reuse up to 85 per cent of total in-house water, and can easily be fitted into most homes. The treated and disinfected Hydraloop water is suitable for toilet flushing, washing machines, garden irrigation and topping up swimming pools.
A supporter of the 50L Home Coalition, the Hydraloop team believes the target consumption amount of 50 litres per person per day can be reduced even further, aided by water efficiency technologies.
The recent data boom has been a game-changer to help solve and prevent problems while helping make our water safer.
US start-up, Spout, is targeting lead detection for in-home drinking water, a hot issue following the Flint catastrophe in 2014. Spout is a lead detection test, offering the ability to detect lead at concentrations at or below 1 part per billion (<1 ppl).
The solution combines hardware and software: a small disposable cartridge is filled with tap water, before being inserted into a reader, which is then paired with a smartphone app to display real-time results.
Another company, Droople, a Swiss start-up, provides an Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform to provide real-time access to data across water treatment systems and appliances.
The concept is to monitor and provide more data on assets to help predict maintenance and reduce water and energy waste. Battery operated modules called iLink read digital or analogue sensors from the market on parameters including flow, temperature, pressure, TDS, chlorine and pH.
South Korean giant Samsung recently revealed its new ‘smart tap/faucet’ at the CES 2021 event in Las Vegas.
The Wi-Fi and voice-enabled smart tap collects data on water usage and has the ability to “self-sanitise” its pipes every three days. The tap will also automatically run if the tap has been dormant for four hours.
Featuring a four-level filter system, it can purify 2,500 litres of water – enough for a family of four for a whole year, Samsung has said.
- This article is based on an upcoming BlueTech Research report on Water in the Smart Home. For more information, please visit here.