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Here’s a nifty project running on Dragon Innovation’s crowd funding platform. Driblet, a Wi-Fi connected water sensor that recharges its battery using the flow of water through the device. The sensor uses the water flow to power the radio and other components. This energy harvesting is a big deal when it comes to the internet of things and embedding sensors in more places, and also a source of research at big name chip firms and even universities.
Changing (or recharging) batteries can be inconvenient for homes or businesses with dozens or hundreds of sensors. It also might become impossible if we embed sensors in pavement or other infrastructure. Outside of energy-harvesting capabilities this sensor is also good-looking and can help consumers track their water use, notifying them of leaks and opportunities to conserve. I know here in drought-stricken Austin that’s a good thing.