Smart Stone, the "smart stone" that wants to save water in our toilet
Water is an increasingly precious and scarce commodity, and therefore every drop we save counts. And the greatest consumption of water does not come from what we drink, but from what we use when we wash our clothes or go to the bathroom. So Ivan Kim, CEO and founder of Smart Stone, has started from this fact to turn his idea into reality: a "smart stone" that aims to save water every time we pull the chain.
Guessing your needs with vibrations and the time you use the toilet
The invention consists of a set of small devices that are distributed both inside and outside the tank. First we have a sensor that detects the vibrations and the sound that we make when we sit on the toilet; and then a stopper for a PET plastic bottle that will be placed inside the toilet tank and will be connected to the rest of its mechanism.
Water will be stored in that plastic bottle, which will be used or not depending on whether we are going to urinate or defecate. The external sensors are in charge of detecting one thing or another depending on the time we are sitting on the toilet, and if it is a short time it will deduce that we have only urinated. In this case, the internal part of the Smart Stone blocks the water from the plastic bottle inside the cistern, saving it for future occasions.
Both sensors communicate with each other via Bluetooth, and its 3000 mAh battery is capable of lasting "up to 6 months". It can be easily charged with a microUSB cable in a matter of two hours, so if the theoretical figures are true, that charge will hardly affect the daily use of the system.
The theoretical figures that Ivan Kim shows us are significant. Part of the fact that 24% of the water consumed in an American house is that of the toilet, and ensures that Smart Stone is capable of saving almost half of that water with continued use of the Smart Stone.It would be equivalent to 10% less total water expenditure and almost 50 euros less on the water bill of a house where three people live.
The use of plastic bottles as tanks within the cistern is also valued as an advantage by Smart Stone, since the company does not have to invest resources in manufacturing its own plastic tank and also the plastic bottles are reused that harm both the environment and our bodies. That bottle, by the way, can be up to 4 liters since it is the amount that Ivan Kim assures us that we can save each time we pull the chain.
It's not just saving water: it's the IoT implications
Those responsible for the Smart Stone showed a simulation of its system with which they demonstrated how up to 4 liters of water were saved each time you pulled the chain.
Smart Stone is not without its weak points, of course: you just need someone to just urinate, but still sit for a while because you just got up and are asleep, or because you have taken your smartphone with you and are distracted more than bill. In that case the device would use all the water, including the one in the plastic bottle.
Also keep in mind that the most modern cisterns already have options to use less water in case of just going to urinate (surely you have seen the already typical buttons divided into two parts to be able to choose between throwing more or less water). But this idea of the Smart Stone can be useful wherever old tanks are used that do not take into account savings and there is no possibility of modernizing them.The Smart Stone can provide very useful data in public services, nursing homes and hospitals
Perhaps the most interesting advantage of Smart Stone apart from saving water is the implications at the data level: the sensors are digital and therefore capable of collecting data. Data that can be sent and processed, and that would give advantages in certain sites. The device could be installed in utilities to count how many times each toilet has been used (the more it is used, the more it will need to be cleaned).
Another application could also be health: in a nursing home, the number of times that residents go to the bathroom could be automatically counted to control what diseases they have. We could talk about the same thing in hospitals, to facilitate the control and evolution of the ailments that patients have.
The Smart Stone is, in short, one of those simple ideas based on a connected sensor that can have very important benefits simply by sending your data and usage statistics. Can we think of something like that in all the toilets of the future? We can never say anything like this, but it is certainly not impossible.