Mirroring any records from analog or smart meters (water, gas, electricity) in digital format. Currentlly energy companies and utilities companies install smart meters to get a fresh info about consumption. A single device costs abotu $200 that is painfulil investment for a large scale automation. EcoData offers portable DataCam, an easy to install solution based on microcomputer with cameras and OCR to recognize values automatically. No need to aquire smart meters, just use our device and monitor typical consumption, make audits and control measurements.
A DataCam prototype has been developed. This is a special camera based on Raspberry Pi. Device makes photos of meter's scale and sends data to server.
Property management, utilities billing. Office landlords, industrial and energy companies are interested in our solution.
There is a strong IoT growth acording to https://www.businessinsider.com/internet-of-things-report.
Problem or Opportunity
1. Smart meters are quite expensive 2. Not all countries Govts. sponsor it 3. According to UK energy Agency an economical effect from implementation of smart meters vary from 11 to 30 pounds per household a year. Quite a low figure if compared to $ invested. 4. Still consumption control function, monitoring of resource use is important. For instance, office space and living property landlords don't want to spend money for smart meters, they just need the data. Data Cam is an affordable way to get such a data. This is a portable "smart meter".
Solution (product or service)
DataCam is a tool for fast and systematic monitoring of meters information. Landlords, enterprize and energy companies may save significant $ using our solution primarily on labor costs and skipping smart meters purchase.
Anyline (market leader), OCR molecula, Pixometer. A Northstar tech. solution is not longer available. Competitors use smartphones and also their own scanner (OCR) to recognise figures from meter's scale. Anyline dont have their own device, their approach is limited with control function only as requires manual data capture.They automate value recognition. OCR molecula only at MVP stage, their scanner is installed over the scale that may rise questions from regulatory agency and also it contains the moving parts that is a potential reliability issue. Pixometer is copied AnyLine's model but has fewer customers. Anyline charges $0,15 per measurement and they have 150 corporate customers. They've just attracted 2mil Euro of new capital for their expansion.
Advantages or differentiators
Our solution advantages are as follows: 1. Flexible installation/portable option, 2. special protected hardware with strong power supply, 3. separate lighting on demand, 4. waterproof, 5. financial model: fee per meter, not per scanned image.
DataCam would save time for control measurments (about two times saving on labor). The proposed financial model includes our device for $200 plus $200 subscription for every 50 meters monitored (model is a subject of change after full testing). Here is an Example of business in our country, Ukraine. There are 35 000 property management companies (PMC) who do control measurements monthly. A single day of control measurement costs about $30 (in UK it would be> $120). We estimate only 5% of PMCs are interested in our device in Ukraine. It gives us an estimation: 1750 devices*400=$ 700 000 in the first year. We have preliminary agreement with some PMCs company for initial testing of few DataCam devices. On top of PMC office there are >10 000 office space landlords. Also a number of industries are also interested in a cost efficient monitoring like households, hospitality, etc. We more look for expansion in Western Europe, esp. Germany where smart meters are not sponsored by Govt.
We propose to use a service model. Customers would pay a subscription fee anually based on the number of meters served plus DataCam costs.
Money will be spent on
1. Marketing research for the initial markets like Poland and Germany. 2. MVP assembling 3. The further OCR experiments 4. Server solution improvement, adding web interface and a base app. 5.Develop a more attractive presentation. Prepare a video.