On April 1st, California Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order mandating a substantial reduction in urban water consumption compared with 2013 levels. One key element - a 25% reduction in urban water use to help mitigate the state’s worst ongoing drought in more than a century.
And while a number of climatologists and meteorologists have predicted a better than 50% chance of an El Nino winter – which means greater than average rainfall- there’s no guarantee that the desperately needed rain will arrive.
Enter the Internet of Things (IoT). The drought has spawned a welter of startups and innovative partnerships with public agencies and the private sector that utilize the IoT to find smart solutions to manage both water distribution and electricity use.
A few examples:
The Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA) has teamed up with Candi Controls and MC Engineering to install a system of low-cost, industrial-class IoT devices. By collecting data from connected sensors, the system is helping to optimize distribution of reclaimed water among farmers and everyday users; it also minimizes energy by tracking usage and power consumption.
According to Tom Kouretas, an MRWPCA engineer, the agency is able to mitigate some of the costs associated with... Read more
A recent study at Carnegie Mellon University shows that when people are aware that free smart phone apps may be sharing private info with third parties, they’ll often rapidly move to limit further sharing.
Carnegie Mellon News reported that the study evaluated the benefits of app permission managers (for Android 4.3, known as AppOps) that tell them how many times info like location, contact lists or phone call logs had been shared.
“Your location has been shared 5,398 times with Facebook, Groupon, GO Launcher EX and seven other apps in the last 14 days.”
“App permission managers are better than nothing, but by themselves aren’t sufficient,” said Norman Sadeh, a professor in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon. “Privacy ‘nudges’ can play an important role in increasing awareness and in motivating people to review and adjust their privacy settings.”
All of this available location data can be a bit of a sticky wicket for marketers, who are trying to drive sales for their products/services, but at the same time, increasingly realizing they need to respect consumer privacy. Marketers, according to Greg Stuart, CEO of the Mobile Marketing Association, will pay 10-20 percent more for online ads that contain... Read more