By: Dr. Vibha Tripathi- Founder & Managing Director- Swajal Water
Today, IoT technology is fast emerging as the dominating force which governs the world. It is gradually trickling into our day-to-day lives in the guise of connected TVs, smart watches, monitoring systems, and even ultra-modern marvels such as smartphone-controlled electric switches. The technology has successfully transformed standalone systems into an ever-connected grid of digital devices that can be accessed and controlled remotely, thereby increasing efficiency and driving better resource utilization. But even as it plays an increasingly pivotal role in defining how we function, there is one area where the intervention of IoT technology has already become irreplaceable: that of water management, one of the most critical human needs today.
Unavailability of hygienic drinking water in public places
Ready access to drinking water is the foremost requirement of all higher life-forms on the earth, but the human species has been facing several challenges on that front. Urban cities, in particular, have been grappling with the problem of unsafe and hard water, leaving the door open for several health and wellness issues. Access to clean and hygienic drinking water in public spaces, as such, must be provided for by public sector enterprises. Given the massive capital requirement for such a large scale deployment, however, the government alone cannot ensure the same everywhere, leaving many high-demand areas parched.
The problem isn’t restricted solely to disproportionate deployment. A greater challenge exists in terms of ensuring the smooth operation of these machines. A residential water purifier informs its users if it requires maintenance. Business organizations, on the other hand, have dedicated technicians in place to repair such equipment. For water purifying machines in public places, however, there is a clear absence of an identical support system. Despite an extensive demand for cold and – most importantly – hygienic water in public areas, lower visibility and delayed repairs mean higher service downtime for these machines, making clean water in these areas almost inaccessible.
Faulty public water systems also result in significant financial damages. Water purifying machines in urban cities are mostly deployed by individual owners on a franchise-based model and the water is often sold on a litre-to-litre basis. A service downtime, even for a few days or hours, results in considerable losses to the owner, making an optimal return on investment quite challenging.
This is the need gap that modern day start-ups are working towards addressing. By incorporating state-of-the-art technologies such as IoT, these new-age ventures are ensuring better availability of drinking water in public spaces.
How IoT technology is redefining efficiencies for budding entrepreneurs?
Swajal, the IoT-enabled water purification systems provider, leverages the state-of-the-art technology to increase the visibility and functionality of its deployed machines. The IoT devices integrated with its water dispensers provide real-time information to the company’s headquarters. This enables Swajal to track and manage the maintenance schedules of several hundred machines simultaneously.
Whenever a machine develops a snag, information is conveyed directly to technicians, thus ensuring timely repair of the device and limiting service disruption. The IoT system also helps in pre-emptive machine servicing to ensure ‘zero downtime’. Such an intuitive and predictive model enables individual operators to supervise multiple machines and a single service engineer to handle an entire cluster.
How Swajal uses disparate technologies:
- Every bottle offered by Swajal has a unique QR code printed on it. This unique code allows the company to monitor every water bottle and household water requirement.
- Customers can check the water quality, location, and even the time of when the water was packaged, along with their names. This way, the company ensures that only authentic water bottles reach its customers.
- Swajal’s customers can use the Swajal app on Android or on iOS. They can also use any standardized scanning app available on any platform.
- The brand also uses IoT technology for easy invoicing and secured credit card payments. Its customers can check all their invoices and deliveries at the touch of a button with their personal dashboards. For each delivery, the customer receives an SMS as well as an email alert. The company has also made it easy to track and manage subscriptions.
- Its delivery app flexibly adjusts the number of bottles its customers take as per their need and updates their invoices accordingly. Swajal’s delivery team takes the customer’s digital signature on a proprietary delivery app to further augment transparency and credibility.
IoT: Driving the future
The areas where IoT can be applied are endless. Imagine your smartphone informing you about a running tap at your home or about the quality of water coming out of the tap. Although they seem more like science fiction, the probability of these propositions being realized are higher today than ever before. Through IoT, Smart Water Management Solutions, only a distant aspiration till now, can become an implementable reality. Specifically-designed machines are currently being equipped with online monitoring systems that allow a commercial water purification brand to monitor the quality of water and other parameters.
Known as internet’s advanced version, IoT is simply the future of machine maintenance and automation. It has become a veritable epicentre for research and development because of the pressing need to establish a network of connected devices, sensors, and other smart technologies. Instead of reactive repair, IoT can predict potential system failures and enable the next generation of monitoring platforms. The technology also helps reduce wastage by installing sensors for leaks, increase safety by incorporating checks to indicate water quality, and enable a proactive maintenance framework.
In a world which is facing imminent crises of ever-decreasing fundamental resources, efficient management frameworks are its only hope of ensuring the continued existence of humanity in its present form, and not as a grotesque post-apocalyptic version driven by a lack of vital needs like water.