Santa Monica, CA

Attachment for a household water meter providing real-time usage data

The Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences InvenTeam invented a product to assist homeowners and water departments in measuring domestic water usage. This monitoring device for household water meters provides real-time water usage tracking through a mobile application. It increases consumers’ awareness of water usage and may detect leaks, which account for over 10% of water usage in an average California household. Real-time access to water usage data allows for an active approach in monitoring and lowering water consumption. The device relies on a microcontroller-linked camera that sends images to a server for analysis, generating numeric data from captured image files. Images are converted into easily-understood displays via an application accessible on any smartphone, tablet, or mobile device. The application also offers a digital badge reward system to encourage lower water consumption.

Recent Team Blogs

May 31, 2016
This month we have made some finishing touches to our prototype. We have redesigned the casing and further improved our app. While our previous design sufficiently affixed the device’s electronics to the water meter, it was clunky and failed to protect the device from the adverse conditions...
April 30, 2016
Most recent developments have been related to formatting so that the app will be compatible with Android devices of all sizes (buttons align relative to the center, etc.). We are currently finishing up work on the main page; the user should be able to switch between daily, weekly, monthly, and...
March 29, 2016
On March 17th, we went to the Water Meter Shop in Santa Monica, where we presented our invention to city employees. This trip followed six months after our initial visit to learn more about the water meters for preliminary research. This time, we discussed the future of the device, including the...
March 19, 2016
The past couple of weeks have been pretty exciting Android application-wise. We can now debug from an actual Android tablet and display graphs of data from the server. The app currently opens to a page with both line and bar graphs, though the final app will most likely have one or the other. The...
February 29, 2016
Our Mid-Grant Technical Review on February 11th was rather successful! We had roughly 40 attendees, including Rob Lemelson, co-vice president and secretary of The Lemelson Foundation, and his son Noah, who graduated from Crossroads in 2010. We received 20 different feedback forms at the event,...
January 31, 2016
This month, we have, I dare say, finished the server side processing code *knocks on wood* The image processing/OCR application we made is now integrated into the server; whenever an image of a water meter is uploaded to the server, the server will analyze it and add its reading to our SQL...
December 18, 2015
Progress is being made! Slowly but surely… We have started to bump into challenges that will take some serious chipping at to overcome, but nothing impossible. In the past few weeks, we have been working on setting up our server that will hold all the data received by the devices. Since...
November 30, 2015
Things are going well! Our team has hit the ground with a running start. So far, the hardware team has developed an Arduino prototype that can capture an image and send it to our server, which will be the main function of our final product. However, we have only been able to send about 30...