IoT architecture has long ceased to be just a technological novelty. Increasingly, it is an element that is deliberately included in large investments due to the convenience and savings it offers. With these benefits in mind, we have designed the IDO IoT Watermeter – a solution for intelligent buildings.

Until now, wherever resources are divided into many independently occupied premises (e.g. Airbnb locations, condominiums, or apartments operated by real estate agencies), managing water consumption has required manual writing down of meters. This is associated with additional problems related to the absence of tenants, repeated visits to the same buildings by technicians, limited access to distribution boxes, etc. Detecting failures, in this case, is also tricky – leaking pipes can generate high costs unnoticed for a long time. Only significantly higher meter readings (and hence – a larger bill) may prompt you to look for the source of the problem. Resources irretrievably lost in this way contribute directly to the deepening of, among others, climate crisis and economic inequalities. At IDO Electronics, we decided to change this state of affairs. Black technician in yellow hardhat and white protective gloves repairing an allocator

What is IDO IoT Watermeter?

When we started working on the project, our main goals consisted of:

  • facilitating the control of resource consumption and building administration;
  • early warning of threats;
  • reducing resource waste.

Months of work by specialists in electronics, databases, and artificial intelligence resulted in the creation of IDO IoT Watermeter. It is an intelligent system for managing smart buildings’ water usage. Its architecture is typical for IoT devices and consists of:

  • devices with a network communication module – meters,
  • gateways connecting devices to the data cloud,
  • cloud processing and storing data,
  • the final application layer for invoicing and consumption monitoring.

The process described below explains how the IDO IoT Watermeter toolkit works.

1. Infrastructure preparation

Before the first data is sent to the system, the infrastructure individual for the network in question should be prepared. It will be different for individual premises in distributed locations (e.g. buildings maintained by agencies) and located in the same building (e.g. offices), but the basic building blocks remain the same. The necessary elements include:

    • water meters operating in the unlicensed (with no additional charges) band 868 MHz. Standards that can be used are, for example:
      • ZigBee – useful especially where safety is particularly important (e.g. in offices and offices visited by many bypassers every day) or where access to devices is difficult, so a long working time (up to several years) on ordinary batteries is of utmost importance.
      • LoRa – just like ZigBee, is characterized by extremely low energy consumption (up to 20 years on standard batteries) and a long-range (up to 5 km in the city).
    • IoT gateway. Usually, one gateway per building is enough, but due to the low bandwidth associated with the standards used (e.g. LoRa – 20b/s-41 Kb/s), it is possible to simply add more gates where the transfer would be limited given the size of the packets (e.g. in multi-family blocks).

A qualified technician reads and transfers to the system the information collected by the gates from the devices, or wherever it is possible to connect the gate to the network, the data can be transferred via the Internet directly to the cloud server.

A scheme illustrationg three phases of IDO IoT Watermeter in work

2. Cloud computing

The data stream flowing from the gates is then stored in database clusters on the AWS cloud. The events generated by the gates are registered in the event bus and from there sent to the invoicing and analytical system (see below). The system analyzes the information and returns it to the bus, from where it can be downloaded by the user, e.g. in the form of a resource consumption graph.

This approach has many advantages:

  • It allows the autonomy of services to be maintained.
  • It gives great opportunities to scale and optimize the costs of the solution.  Moving to a Software as Service architecture allows billing only while resources are in use. This allows you to reduce the costs of the entire project and optimizes the operation of the system in the event of a cyclical load of resources.
    An example may be e.g. joining another housing cooperative into the system. We do not have to deal with launching more servers. In case of reducing the load on the system – maintenance costs will also decrease without the need to make changes to the configuration.
  • Provides ease of invoicing for the customer – in the previous example, the customer receives an invoice for processing a certain amount of data. It is also possible to invoice e.g. by the number of active gates. In each of these cases, a summary of the resources used is simple and transparent to both parties. The client can check the current and forecast status at any time and adjust his plans to the budget.


3. Data processing and analysis

The data obtained as a result of processing are then transferred to the invoice and analytical system IDO IoT Watermeter. This tool has a dual function:

  1. It monitors the consumption of utilities, and on its basis cyclically generates invoices for the clients using them in accordance with the tariff and sends them to authorized persons. Thanks to the automation of the process, errors resulting from oversights, e.g. omission of an invoice, errors in addressing, etc. are eliminated.
  2. A neural network analyzes data downloaded by the server. Based on historical data, predicted consumption and trends are determined. If the forecast exceeds the expected values, the system will send a direct notification to the user (via e-mail, SMS, or in the app). In this way, possible failures resulting in wasting resources can be detected faster and precisely located. For example:
    • Water consumption in the entire building has slightly increased, and the individual indicator on the single premise records greater consumption. A leaking seal in the faucet is causing the problem. The locator of the premise will receive a notification of the defect.
    • Water consumption for the entire building has risen sharply, but individual meters have not registered greater consumption. Probably the problem is a leaking pipe carrying water to the entire building. The owner of the building will receive a notification of the defect.

The system uses the TensorFlow library, thanks to which we achieved a number of benefits:

Tensor Flow Logo
  • The TF library is open-source, which means that using it in the IoT Watermeter IDO project does not increase the costs associated with software licensing. In addition, a committed, large community around the project guarantees security, quick debugging, and access to ready-made elements that facilitate the expansion of the program with new functions.
  • Built-in neural network (AI) functions that recognize data ensure proper administration and dispatch of invoices.
  • The elements responsible for machine learning (ML) draw regularities from systematized data and allow forecasting future consumption, as well as informing about deviations from the rule.

Sending invoices and preparing a utility consumption forecast completes the IDO IoT Watermeter operation process.

Intuitiveness and convenience

Although the IDO IoT Watermeter system is backed by advanced technology and complex operating algorithms, its use is simple. IDO IoT Watermeter is a tool that is eagerly used not only by trained building owners but also by the users of the premises themselves. We made sure that the user interfaces were so intuitive and clear that learning how to use the system requires only basic computer skills. Thanks to this, we were able to include people who are often discriminated against by the development of technology, such as the elderly or the poorer, for whom savings and control of individual expenses are of particular importance. Elderly person's hands holding iphone

Development opportunities

IDO Electronics is an R&D company, so we prepare all our solutions not only in accordance with applicable standards but also take care to stay ahead of trends. It is no different with the IDO IoT Watermeter system, for which we anticipate the following development opportunities:

New types of devices

IDO IoT Watermeter works with various meters available on the market. The only condition is to work at the frequency set at 868MHz. This prepares the system for devices that are yet to be introduced by manufacturers. This applies not only to water meters  but also to other elements that will be part of future solutions for smart buildings.

Subscription model

Currently, the system operates in the post-paid system, in which the user is invoiced for the resources already used. The amount due is paid only after using, for example, water, which enables fraud related to non-payment of bills by dishonest tenants. More advanced allocators in combination with the IDO IoT Watermeter system can be used to create a pre-paid model, in which the user first subscribes to a certain value of services and only then consumes the resources. In this case, our system will help plan expenses and inform the user about the upcoming limit and the need to top up the account.

Failure prediction

Along with the growing amount of collected and analyzed data, it is possible to implement algorithms that predict infrastructure problems before they happen. When a risk of a breakdown is detected, the user (owner of the premises, building) will receive a notification in advance, from which he will find out what element needs to be repaired. Thanks to this, it will avoid losses caused by a defect (e.g. flooding the apartment) and reduce the costs of repairing the equipment.


IDO IoT Watermeter is a solution that meets many needs at the same time:

  • it allows for multi-level control of resource consumption, both by the administrator and resource users;
  • facilitates the administration of buildings, minimizes the number of on-site visits;
  • helps to detect failures and threats early;
  • reduces waste and protects the environment.

Due to its design, the system can be installed in new buildings but it’s also enough to carry out a simple modernization of existing systems to make it work, also in very old houses. This makes IDO IoT Watermeter perfect for locations such as:

  • housing communities and cooperatives;
  • premises managed by real estate agencies;
  • short-term rental premises;
  • offices and service premises.

IDO Electronics considers each case individually, flexibly adjusting the system to the needs and possibilities of the client and the building, thanks to which our partners achieve maximum convenience and savings. Contact us today and see what opportunities IDO IoT Watermeter offers to you.