Water Sensor Traction

Water Sensor Traction

I mentioned in a previous post about how a weather forecast for waterways system could move those who deal with water forwards and how FreeUP was undertaking phase 1 of the work involved. After many meetings, R&D sessions and days outdoors in the rivers themselves, we’ve now completed this phase of work.

Through pilots, we’ve demonstrated the low-cost collection of water data in a format that can easily scale.

No existing infrastructure or technical knowledge is required and the sensors can be easily repositioned or left in place for as long as needed. We’ve worked hard on the dashboard interface, the communications, the hardware form-factor and a raft of other considerations large and small.

In short, I believe this system can act as a new foundation for at scale water quality sensing and through our real-world evidence, that many more will soon believe this too.

Detail

As we’re aiming to enable water management at scale, not just water data collection at scale, the problems to overcome are dependent on the use case and user. We’re not simply solving for one variable such as the price point or shipping weight, but instead solving for details that are often user-defined.

This is why in this coming phase of development, we’re looking for users that think this technology could help them reduce costs and increase efficiencies.

We’ve already had some really interesting conversations where people planned to use our sensing/platform in ways we hadn’t anticipated.

One example was to saturate specific river locations with 20 or more sensors to get a clear and ongoing picture of what was happening across the river’s cross-section. We made the sensors independent in terms of communications and installation to enable catchment-wide deployments, but here, this modularity enabled high special resolution within small river cross-sections.

A second example was to sense the overall impacts towns and population centres had as one entity and to calculate how many drains were likely misconnected to generate an inter-town benchmark.

There are many more examples I could share, but hopefully, these two demonstrate why I believe collaborating and talking to people to discover what is really useful to them rather than presuming is a good best practice.

Input

With better information on how different users want to use our system, we can better customise the user experience and keep our development queue optimally ordered.

FreeUP is now starting a second round of pilots and scaled up pilots to further demonstrate the capabilities of our technology and approach, however, I’m always very open to conversations regardless of how progressed things are.

Whilst the solution is singular, the details are numerous and the number of applications vast. The more people that share their details of what a solution looks like to them, the sooner we can all share in effective water management at scale.

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