Buoy is an all-in-one solution that uses algorithms to monitor water usage in real time, alerts you when there are leaks and offers remote shutdown capability (Image credit Buoy Labs)


Who knew you could task AI and machine learning to monitor the water that flows through your home? Apparently, Santa Cruz-based Buoy Labs did, and they’ve used those algorithms to develop a water monitoring platform that could help lessen your water bills, which is good news for those who live in areas with a declining water supply such as California. The company’s aptly-named Buoy is a device that’s meant to help cut down your water usage and waste, something the EPA says affects 10% of the homes in the US.


Buoy was designed to be installed where the city’s water mainline connects to your home and uses a series of sensors to monitor the rate at which water flows through your home’s pipes in a real-time setting. The device then uses a Wi-Fi connection to upload that data to the company’s servers, which uses AI and machine learning algorithms to categorize your water usage. It’s able to monitor shower, toilet, and faucet flow rates simultaneously and even appliances that use water, such as dishwashers and swamp coolers, which it does when the sensors pick up a spike in the water flow.



Through a companion app, Buoy can display the home’s water usage on a daily basis and overall water usage by category- shower, washing machine, and so on. It will also alert you to water leaks and in some cases, what the cause is based on the collected data analyzed by the company’s AI. The residents to can then use all of that received data to paint a bigger picture of where their water is going and where they can cut or curb their water usage. Moreover, they can also use the app to remotely shut off water to their homes in the event it detects a leak, perfect for those on vacation or who own multiple properties they don’t spend much time around.


The Buoy doesn’t come cheap though, costing $799 just for the unit but that does include professional installation by a plumber and lifetime usage of Buoy’s app. The company also states that Buoy is compatible with most single-family homes and newer multi-family buildings, so you won’t have to purchase any additional equipment such as an adapter.



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