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Eve Aqua smartly serves up a drink to your lawn and garden – Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

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I’ve already used most of the Eve products that support HomeKit and Thread, however, the Eve Aqua is still on my list. This is the latest version of Eve’s smart sprinkler and watering product that costs $99.95. That’s a bit more than some other basic smart sprinklers, although you can easily spend hundreds of dollars for a robust multi-zone system.

After using the Eve Aqua for the past two weeks, I’m confident enough to say it’s worth the price if you have an Apple HomeKit smart home. Doubly so if you have a HomePod mini that acts as a Thread router.

Although I found a few minor issues, the Eve Aqua is super for automating sprinklers or hoses, keeps your usage data secure, and has a nifty weather integration to keep you from wasting water.

In the box, you get the Eve Aqua, a pair of AA batteries, and a hose adapter in case you need it. 

Setup is your typical “scan and configure” approach with HomeKit: Using the Home app on an iOS device, you scan a QR code, choose where in the Home the device will be and that’s it. The setup process is done over Bluetooth and after two small firmware updates, the Eve Aqua automatically connected to my Thread network.

As a refresher, Thread is a mesh device-to-device protocol. A Thread Border Router, such as the HomePod mini, can move data from Thread devices to the cloud so you have remote access and control to the devices. There’s no need for a separate bridge, adapter, or WiFi radio inside most Thread devices based on the protocol.

Having said that, I of course left my home network after setup and tried to remotely turn the Eve Aqua on.

I know it worked even though I wasn’t home because my wife called and asked me if I left the hose on. I also know because the Eve app shows water data usage. You can specify the water flow rate of your sprinkler in the Eve app for the most accurate usage metrics. 

Of course at home, you can use either the Eve or Home app to turn the water on or off. And there’s a single button on the front face of the Eve: Press it to control the water. I will say the motor inside of the Eve Aqua is a bit loud for my tastes. However, more often than not, I’m not standing outside near it. 

If you want to move beyond a simple on/off situation, you’ll want to use the Eve app. Apple Home only supports the basic on/off functions.

Once in the Eve app, you can set custom schedules for every day of the week, for example, in a “Program”.

Multiple programs are supported.

This is also where you’ll see data such as how long since the Eve Aqua last watered something and the water consumption, or change the default watering duration.

I live in a townhouse and don’t have much to water but all of my programmed water schedules ran without a hitch.

It’s worth a quick note to mention that all of the schedules and your watering data are stored locally on the Eve Aqua. That not only secures your usage data but also allows the Aqua to work during an internet outage.

There’s another interesting feature that takes advantage of the Apple Shortcuts app.

It was a little finicky to set up because the custom shortcut from Eve is currently considered “untrusted”. However, I really wanted to try it because it’s a great example of using connected technologies for a better smart home experience.

Essentially, once the shortcut is added, you can ask Siri to “check watering”.

Siri will then look at your local weather to see the percentage chance of rain. If it’s above a certain threshold you can configure (the default is 50%), the shortcut will skip watering.

Note that if you check the weather before noon and rain is incoming, the Eve Aqua will pause watering for the rest of the day. If you check after noon, it will pause through noon the following day.

I was able to use the shortcut with Siri but it would error out when trying to pause watering for the day. I suspect this will be fixed soon, though, or could be something specific to me. Regardless, during the shortcut setup process, you can add 2 preset scenes to pause or unpause the water with a button tap. 

Aside from my shortcut issue and the motor noise, the Eve Aqua impresses.

It works reliably on a schedule, provides useful information about your water consumption for the outdoors, and keeps your data local on the device, which a key element of most Eve products. If you have a HomeKit and Thread smart home (or will in the near future) and need a smart sprinkler, I think you’ll be happy.

This content was originally published here.

IoT

Android and Nest are making the smart home feel smarter with Matter | Android Central

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Matter is designed to solve the smart home with a new standard that all smart homes can operate on. Google is bringing Matter compatibility to its Android and Nest ecosystems to make pairing and controlling smart home devices as easy as plugging in a USB drive.

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Purina to take guesswork out of pet nutrition with IoT ‘smart bowl’ – Smart City

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“Our Purina Chekr smart bowl is managed by our Purina intelligence engine built on and powered by AWS IoT services. “This system allows pet owners … To Read More, Please Visit Source

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IoT

Building Solar Energy Monitoring Systems Using IoT – floLIVE

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The global Energy market is going through substantial change, with renewable energy at an all-time high, and growing fast. While Asia-Pacific continues to dominate, interest in solar energy is growing all over the world.

According to Mordor Research, “the renewable energy installed capacity reached 2713.60 GW in 2019, and it is anticipated to reach approximately 4391.18 GW by 2026, at a CAGR of 7.13% during 2021-2026.” Below you can see how renewable energy is being adopted globally, proving that worldwide, solar power and sustainable energy solutions are a seriously hot topic. (No pun intended.) To understand more about how IoT is facilitating this growth, keep reading!

Solar Energy IoT and Smart Home Monitoring Systems

Integrating solar energy into smart homes is becoming more popular as solar panels continue to reduce in cost, but this can only happen if there are solar energy monitoring systems in place – and that’s where IoT comes in.

IoT can allow consumers and businesses to monitor the use of solar energy on a much more granular level, giving a better understanding over which appliances and services are the most energy efficient, how much power is being used, as well as insight into when and how.

For enterprises looking to facilitate and maintain solar panels and renewable energy, IoT can allow for remote maintenance, and even predictive analysis that drives down costs even further. Deep visibility can allow companies to decrease the stress on their equipment, better balancing energy loads, and alerting ahead of time to issues such as overheating.

Large-scale Solar Operations Need Remote Monitoring to Suit

While residential application is a large part of the drive to renewable energy, many energy companies are looking into increasing their solar farms, and managing power consumption and renewable energy on a much larger scale. Solar power production for energy companies can be improved exponentially with the help of IoT monitoring. As sensors become more affordable, and connectivity solutions evolve, enterprises could see huge benefits from IoT, without much risk to speak of. Here are four examples:

Maintenance: Traditionally, workers on a solar farm would need to locate and check every panel regularly to ensure that they are working as expected. These inspections can become a thing of the past when all your solar panels are connected to a centralized data source. In fact, when there’s a problem, your asset management system can let you know with a simple alert, freeing up your staff for higher value tasks. With predictive intelligence, you’re less likely to suffer as a result of outages or power issues.

Performance: By amalgamating the data that comes from your panels, grid managers will be able to spot anomalies such as solar panels or units that are under-performing, and even the reasons why, such as temperature, dust, or extreme weather conditions. Managers can then make smart changes, such as moving units, increasing the volume of cleaning, or making changes in insulation or alignment.

Security: Especially when solar panels and solar farms are in rural areas (often the case when it comes to renewable energy sources), it’s essential to have a monitoring system to keep them secure from physical theft, or even vandalism. With IoT sensors, you can establish rules for theft-related alerts, such as movement around the panels, or if a panel has been removed from the outer structure of the grid.

Forecasting: With business intelligence tools integrated into your IoT monitoring system, analytics can help you see true business growth at a much faster rate. For example, anticipate how much energy will be needed on a specific day, streamlining how much energy you use and conserve, respectively. This can improve the balance of supply and demand in the smart grid itself, saving serious zeroes off your bottom line.

When it Comes to Solar Energy… Not all IoT Technologies Are Created Equal

IoT monitoring systems have a few key needs, but top of the list is connectivity. However, this is not just any connectivity. As solar panels are often in rural areas, and sensors can often be manufactured in one location and sent to another where the energy grid is based, availability is a key issue to address first and foremost. There could be many thousands of panels or units on a large-scale solar farm, so price is also an important point to consider. One of the main contributors to cost is battery life, as the battery is often more expensive to replace than it would be to deploy new devices and sensors altogether.

LPWAN solutions and cellular IoT connectivity are a great fit for IoT monitoring in the Energy sector, with the packet size and data rates to meet these unique needs. floLIVE offers a one-of-a-kind solution in the form of software-defined connectivity, providing global connectivity through globally distributed core networks deployed in different regions. Each of these hosts a local IMSI, and they are centrally managed over the cloud. This unique approach has formed the world’s largest IMSI Library. In practice, this means that sensors can be manufactured anywhere, and IoT devices simply connect locally when they are turned on. This not only eliminates data privacy and security issues, but it also reduces the amount of time the IoT device has to be awake each time it transmits information, extending the lifespan of its battery overall.

Solar Power is the Future – and IoT Technology is Making That Happen

The IEA expects solar energy to play the biggest role in jumpstarting fresh growth in global renewable energy because falling costs are already below retail electricity prices in most countries. The cost of solar power is expected to decline by a further 15% to 35% by 2024, spurring further growth over the second half of the decade.”

The world is ready for solar energy, but without an IoT solution in place for remote monitoring, the benefits are going to be limited for today’s enterprises.

Ready to discuss your roadmap for sustainable energy augmented by IoT technology? Let’s talk.

This content was originally published here.

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