Toilets and urinals account for nearly 27% of water use in Europe
The econal® urinal from Swiss Invent AG meets the highest standards for quality, cleanliness, design and longevity while offering advanced new features that apply IoT technology to update the humble urinal for the 21st century.
The econal urinal ensures ease of installation with a modular design that supports both hybrid and fully waterless formats. The hybrid model includes a pair of dedicated sensors to monitor both water flow and fluid level in real time, ensuring optimal water management for up to 95% reduced consumption compared with conventional models.
The econal urinal is also offers an optional LCD screen equipped to receive and deliver highly targeted, just-in-time advertising from Swiss Invent’s Econmedia™ division. Econmedia delivers engaging, animated advertisements using wireless or cellular data, making installation trivial and delivering sufficient value that in some cases Swiss Invent is able to provide urinals at no cost to the installer. econal deployments are currently in progress at premiere sites around the world including:
- Sao Paulo F1 Grand Prix
- Audi Curitiba Brazil
- Sofitel Morocco
- Airport Ataturk Istanbul
- McDonalds Switzerland
Swiss Invent faced three major challenges during development:
- Providing a global, stable and efficient Digital Signage Platform
- Optimizing wireless connectivity for both water and advertising management systems across a global deployment. Normally, this would require individual negotiations with potentially hundreds of regional Mobile Network Operators, each offering dozens of price plans.
- Ensuring IoT best practices around IoT security and compliance with regional regulations requiring that data transmitted and received by connected devices be handled confidentially.
Swiss Invent is powered by Sparkzone®, a Soracom Solution Partner based in Switzerland that specializes in communication and digital signage architecture for IoT projects.
Each hybrid urinal is equipped with an embedded Android device for cloud communication, a sensor-based fluid management tool, available digital signage for advertising content, built-in Wi-Fi, and a cellular modem equipped with a Soracom SIM.
Data requirements include both a low-bandwidth bidirectional channel for device monitoring and sensor control and a high-bandwidth unidirectional channel for delivery of advertising content and digital signage from the cloud.
Data security, global connectivity, and real-time SIM card management
Soracom’s ability to deliver secure cellular connectivity and granular connection management on a global scale multiple critical-path issues and let Sparkzone focus on timely delivery at scale.
Reliable global service removed the need to negotiate separate data contracts in each country, and the advanced, real-time SIM management tools available through the Soracom Console and API made it simple Swiss Invent to manage devices and data consumption in real time and across national borders.
Additionally, Soracom’s pay-as-you-go approach to mobile data helped to hold down costs for a product intended to ship worldwide:
“Soracom charges for service only when SIMs are activated, which made including a SIM in each urinal very affordable,” said Daniel Bajka, CEO and Founder of Sparkzone.
Imagine a location with 10 urinals. Each of them has a SIM included and can act as the gateway to the cloud. As Bajka explains, “This is great for creating local network resilience. If one active gateway gets into trouble and does not communicate anymore, the SIM lets the next urinal automatically take over the gateway function.”
Further optimize data usage and augment security
Moving forward, Swiss Invent plans to embed Soracom eSIM modules directly into the econal urinal circuitry and manage all SIM services over the air. This will dramatically reduce SIM logistics by eliminating the need for physical handling of SIM cards.
Sparkzone expects to integrate services like Soracom Beam, Soracom Endorse, Soracom Gate and Soracom Inventory to further optimize data usage and augment security and packet management. This will enable Swiss Invent to offer even better services to their clients.