BridgIoT (RF) (Pty) Ltd was registered in 2015 by Innovus, where BridgIoT was the culmination of years of research conducted by Prof Thinus Booysen and his students at Stellenbosch University’s Electrical Engineering Department.
The technology that was developed through the research was that of a smart geyser controller, named Geasy, working on the GSM network through GPRS services. The controller comprised of a water meter, solenoid valve, drip sensor, and various temperature probes required a plumber and electrician for installation thereof.
Besides the costly installation, the physical hardware cost was also high as components chosen were high-end and easy to work with for students. This drove costs up and made the entry to market difficult. The Geasy was certified according to various standards for electrical and radio devices.
BridgIoT approached several insurance companies and geyser manufacturers in order to partner up and gain market access, however, BridgIoT was met with dead-ends in this venture. During this time, in 2017, the drought in Cape Town was the talk of the town and efforts to save water became more popular and received more media coverage.
The Department of Premier in the Western Cape caught wind of the technology following a roll-out (140 units) of Geasies in Piet Retief and approached BridgIoT in order to sponsor some high water usage schools in the Western Cape with water monitoring devices.
Shortly after, news had spread to Shoprite who committed to sponsoring 100 schools with the technology, now reduced to the bare bones required for water monitoring and appropriately named Dropula. The #SmartWaterMeterChallenge was born as part of Shoprite’s funding campaign.
The campaign received wide coverage on CapeTalk radio and challenged corporates to donate to the cause. The WCED also got involved and endorsed the technology and the project. Following an additional 93 sponsorships from corporates, the WCED co-sponsored 170 schools for the project leading to a grand total of 363 sponsorships.
Following the rollout of the #SmartWaterMeterChallenge BridgIoT started to develop various solutions for monitoring purposes in different areas, such as agriculture, residential, and commercial applications, where the core of the technology development was the device connectivity. As BridgIoT’s slogan says – “Bridging the Internet of Things”.
More recently, BridgIoT has gained a renewed focus on the development of Geyser (storage water heater) Controller hardware and software.
Unique aspects of products/services
The Dropula technology is compatible with various types of pulse water meters and Kamstrup wireless water meters. Multiple types of devices can be managed through a single user interface. Data is made available through CSV downloads, API integration or white label web-applications. Operations, installation and end-user applications are provided for large volume clients.
Some of the remarkable project the company has embarked on include’ The geyser controller rollout in Piet Retief of 140 installations and the #smartwatermeterchallenge with around 350 installations.
Their in-field devices just report data and thus we are able to tailor the user experience on our platforms as we wish and implement improvements to the platform incrementally and frequently.
There is considerable flexibility in the compatible water meters that are supported by the Dropula, thus enabling retrofitting of the technology.
Wired-Dropula Product Description
Water meter suppliers have a range of pulse probe meters which send out electrical pulses on a wired connection indicating a certain volume of flow has passed through the water meter. These water meters traditionally require manual reading of the register value for monitoring purposes, but in using BridgIoT’s services it is possible to take these meters online by interfacing the meter with our Wired-Dropula solution.