What-er (Water) you doing?
Thousands have lived without love, but no one can survive without water. Water is such an essential part of our world (around 70-75 percent of the world is water), our bodies (roughly 70 percent of an adult’s body is made up of water), and our lives (a person can live about a month without food, but only about a week without water). Yet we are so careless with our water, especially in the United States. Approximately 400 billion gallons of water are used in the United States per day; in a year, the average American residence uses over 100,000 gallons. Mundane activities such as taking a bath or a five-minute shower use 70 gallons and 20 gallons respectively. Did you know that the average faucet releases 2 gallons of water per minute or that it takes 5 liters to wash a cup? I’m not accusing you or pointing a finger—I am also careless about how I waste my water. But this is all about to change, thanks to a new startup company called BrighTap.
The company was founded by Konstantin Berezin, Ariel Drach, and Alex Sudak in February 2015. Berezin is the CEO of the company and has past experience in both the hi-tech and consumer electronics industries as well as having a special interest in green products. From 2013-2015, he was the CEO of TMPA Recycling, a not for profit electronic recycling company, and has previous jobs in sales and marketing. Drach went to college at IED Madrid and serves as the company’s CTO. Sudak graduated from Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, in Ramat Gan, Israel, and serves as the company’s COO, focusing on Tech and Production. Both Drach and Sudak have previous experience in product design. In addition to the 3 co-founders, they brought Yuval Klein on board to serve in an advisory role and sit on their board. Klein is the founder and CEO of Valiber, a device and app that measure how sweet things are. The company is based in Jerusalem and was incubated in the European Commission’s Internet of Things accelerator. BrighTap raised one hundred thousand dollars in its seed round back in September 2014. The company’s main two investors are SVOD Europe and the Vertical Engine Program. BrighTap has the team and technology in place to make a real impact on the world, and their potential is starting to be recognized.
The BrighTap team realized that a fresh-water crisis exists not only in Israel, but all over the world. Households and organizations face it in California, Flint Michigan, and Singapore. The common questions are: Is this water safe to drink and to use? How many liters are needed to wash a cup? To take a shower? The target is to increase awareness of water consumption and water quality for households and organizations. BrighTap’s solution is a smart water meter that can track your water usage and water quality. Knowledge is power and with this powerful new technology you will know your water: how much you're using, how much you're spending, and its quality score. Their Internet of Things (an everyday object that has network connectivity allowing it to send and receive data) meter can be a separate device attached to any standard water tap, hose, or pipe and it transforms them into a smart device. In addition, the BrighTap meter can be an Original Equipment Manufacturer (a part or subsystem that is used in another company's end product) to any device including a tab, refrigerator, or water bar. The meter works through the combination of BrighTap’s proprietary analytic algorithm and turbine technology that measures water flow with impressive accuracy. The average deviation in its measurements is plus or minus 4%. The purpose of BrighTap is to provide real time data about the water quality and help users reduce their water bills. Some of the data and statistics that BrighTap can monitor are water quality index, liters/gallons used, temperature, costs, etc. The data can be tracked on the company’s app or other data services in addition to the screen on the meter itself. The ultimate goal of BrighTap is to increase water consumption and water quality awareness all over the world.
Back in November 2015, the company won a $50,000 first-place prize in the Unilever Innovation Foundry “Ideas for Life” competition in London. Following this up in March 2016 they won the first Google Startup Exchange organized by Numa, a French accelerator program. Even more impressive, BrighTap was handpicked as one of six Israeli companies by the US State Department and White House to take part in the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford University in California on June 22nd through 24th. Hosted by President Barack Obama, GES attracted more than 1,000 global delegates. Each of the world’s six regions was represented by 100 entrepreneurs chosen from about 5,000 applications from more than 150 countries. BrighTap reached the top five in the summit’s World Positive competition, but their Israeli peer, Solstice Initiative, won the competition. Regardless, the momentum is clearly building for BrighTap, as they get more and more recognition and publicity for their product.
Brightap launched a Indiegogo pre-campaign during the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit. A successful campaign will facilitate final product development. Indiegogo will be BrighTap’s partner in a pre-launch campaign to help generate buzz and an audience. After raising funds and growing their community through crowd funding, they will have a marketplace to sustain their momentum and make early sales with possibilities to make connections with manufacturing and logistics experts.
Taking a deeper look at the BrighTap meter, there are so many benefits and great features. BrighTap is a new concept of monitoring water resources. One of the best features is you can always know if your water is safe to drink with a water quality score rating the water on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. In addition, it increases awareness of water consumption for a greener planet with both a timer measuring the time your water is running and a real time measurement of exactly how much water you are using. The meter also provides the exact temperature of the water and a simple color system which protects children from burning themselves. All of these features can be viewed in a simple and clear manner on the meter itself. Customers will be able to lower their water bills through monitoring and adjusting their home’s water usage.
The design of this brilliant meter is also groundbreaking. It is extremely easy to install, as a customer simply attaches it to the end of their tap or shower head without any tools. It can be fully operational in seconds! Also, it doesn’t rust as it is housed in non-slip rubber which makes it last for years. The meter itself is very compact at only 1 cubed inch in size, and is the smallest, most elegant water monitor out there. Lastly, and most impressively, it is self-powered by the water that passes through it so you will never need to charge or replace any batteries.
In conjunction with the meter there will be an app that will available to all mobile devices. The app’s features include your personal water usage and quality statistics which will keep track of the changes you make in water consumption. Another feature is having helpful tips about water conservation and best practices available on the app as well as who to contact regarding water quality. On top of this, the customer will get increased awareness and comparative knowledge of water usage by knowing the consumption of their friends, neighborhood, city, etc. The app will also inform you of any leaks so that they can be addressed immediately. If you’re proud of how you stack up to your neighbors, you can share your ratings on social media.
Water is nothing to take for granted and there are serious droughts and shortages around the world. The statistics about water consumption are eye-opening. To start, BrighTap’s ideal customers will be those who are interested in water quality. Their house may be a “smart house,” they may live in California or a different region plagued by drought, or simply care deeply about the environment. But I really think this product should become a staple in all households across America, Israel, and the rest of the world. We need to start taking our water seriously and BrighTap’s innovation gives us the tools to do so.