Hackers around the world are setting up an army of IOT bots driving us kicking and screaming into the internet age where we welcome our dystopian future. And since one of our core values is community, we decided we need to be part of this conspiracy.
Much like the cloud and big data, nobody really knows what IOT actually is, but we’re entrepreneurs here, so we don’t let things like reality get in the way.
In 2017 we already commissioned the development of an “automated notification system for domestic gas installations”. Which pretty much sums the project up in a nutshell. We fed the developers pizza and a 40 Meg tunnel to thesmut pipeinternet for a couple o’ months. And in early 2018, they gave us a thing which is both “unique and first”, which happens to be another one of our core values, so we rewarded ourselves by expanding the solution to include commercial and industrial requirements.
Fast forward a couple of software and hardware iterations and we have finally released this beast onto the unsuspecting public.
What problem are we solving?
It all starts with an itch (and sometimes all ends with an itch). All progress the world has ever seen is driven by some poor clot that’s unhappy with the current state of affairs (got an itch), who decides to jump down the rabbit hole and see where trying to fix it leads.
For us the itch was running out of gas without any warning. Oddly enough, we’re all gas consumers here (eat your own dog food and all that), and while running out of gas halfway through an epic spag-bol cooking marathon is livable (even if it means you have to put the Pinotage down to switch over), running out halfway through a shower (usually the “I’m now 80% covered in lather half”) in the middle of winter at 4am (because of a late night) with a hangover is less fun!
So how did we fix that shower thing?
Auto-changeover regulators have been available on the market for years. These little monsters will “sense” when the currently active cylinder runs dry and automatically switch over to the other cylinder/bank. They’re the bomb! At least until the second cylinder/bank runs dry. Now we’ve run out of gas and we’ve already consumed the backup supply. Probably because of its freakish similarity to government bureaucracy, it’s never really been a very popular option.
But if we could find a way for the auto-changover to tell us when it’s changed cylinders/banks we may be onto something?
It turns out, others agree with us that sensing if the auto-changeover has sensed that the cylinder has run dry is a sensible thing to do. So they build ’em with a little colour indicator, black for “sharp” and red for shit-is-fubar.
If we can only find a way to read that indicator…
- You can, with a microprocessor, which means nerds.
- Nerds can do clever stuff, and they use silicone for completely different things to what Hollywood celebs use it for.
- Hooking the microprocessor up to the auto-changeover regulator means we can now automagically detect when the cylinders/bank have switched over.
- Now if only there were a way to get notified when this happens…
3G to the rescue
You can, but you need a different kind of nerd.
So data goes into the microprocessor from the auto-changeover regulator (try keep up, this is important), and data goes out from the microprocessor to our servers hosted in the ☁️. The data travels through the air via these invisible things call “waves” and reaches the ☁️ at speeds between the speed of sound and the speed of light. No really.
The microprocessor is told to update us every 4 minutes of the status of your cylinders/bank (remember “sharp” or “fubar”).
Our servers in the cloud have software that continually monitors all the telemetry-enabled installations out there and updates us when things happen that we need to know about, most significantly, when your bank changes over.
We then notify you. You drop some bucks in our bank account and our delivery elves make sure we are never the reason you have put you Pinotage down.