FLUID Water Meter: Shaping the Smart Water Meter Market
When the Co-founders of FLUID Water Meter launched their Kickstarter almost three years ago, they were testing their vision for an easy-to-install, user-centered, smart-home water metering device. “Whenever you’re trying to create a new market, you have to figure out if an unsated need or the opportunity to create a new compelling experience is actually there,” says Josh Becerra, FLUID’s CEO.
Creating a new market is different from just developing a new product—it requires convincing an array of customers, partners, and other constituencies to see the world differently
The team set out to change the relationship people have with the water they use on a daily basis. Prior to FLUID, people only had one data point, their water bill—which in many cities is mailed once every few months. “First you need to understand your water usage habits and behaviors, before you can make changes to conserve,” states Becerra.
Creating a new market is different from just developing a new product—it requires convincing an array of customers, partners, and other constituencies to see the world differently. And the effects can be far-reaching, as markets are capable of taking on a life of their own.
Needless to say, since 2015 the smart water meter market has been heating up with many of the traditional meter manufacturers, water industry incumbents, and other start-ups launching their own versions of smart water meters. Becerra acknowledges, “Being first has benefited us tremendously. We get a lot of inbound interest from all over the world. We’ve had, and continue to have, cross-sector conversations—which keeps our hands on the pulse of the market, that we like to think we helped create.”
What made FLUID unique back in 2015, still holds true today. FLUID was first to launch a clamp-on smart water meter.
A user simply attaches FLUID around the main water pipe entering their home, plugs it in and connects it to their home Wi-Fi. After downloading an app, the user can access real-time reports on their iOS—or Android—mobile devices or tablets. FLUID uses ultrasonic technology to send pulses between two transducers that calculate the amount of water flowing through the pipe. “We are the world’s first clamp-on smart water meter which gives users complete visibility as to how, when and where they are using water. It is easy to install, and no plumber is required as it simply snaps on to the main water pipe,” mentions Becerra.
FLUID has come to the market at a time of increasing need for water conservation. Water prices have risen globally at a 48 percent rate since 2010. Further, household leaks also account for 1 trillion wasted gallons a year in the US alone—enough to fill 40 million swimming pools. Not only does FLUID help users conserve water so they can save on their utility costs, it also provides the user with peace of mind. FLUID will pay for itself the first time it catches a leak. Stopping a leak in minutes versus hours or days dramatically decreases the amount of an insurance claim.
The firm has received a lot of traction from not only the B2C but B2B sectors like water utilities, smart home platforms, HVAC firms, and oil and gas companies both in the US and internationally and is actively seeking strategic partnerships to accelerate its market penetration. “We have recently signed a joint venture with a UK group to help us gain momentum and expand into other markets,” informs Becerra. Since way back in 2015 with the launch of their Kickstarter, until today, you can look to FLUID to continue to shape the smart water meter market.
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