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Acer Being Communication is a subsidiary of Acer and, moving forward, has plans to expand its solution by building miniature weather stations and smart water-level monitoring stations. Acer’s solution, an add-on that attaches to the top of an existing water meter, was selected because it eliminates the need to replace old meters and can be quickly installed without cutting any pipes, saving money and avoiding interference with people’s daily lives. It effectively turns old meters into smart ones, making use of a built-in camera to photograph the face of the existing water meter, process the reading via edge computing and then returns that data to the water company. The result is a more cost-efficient process that better communicates information and is more secure.
The Taiwan Water Corporation has currently applied the solution for corporate use. It could be used to monitor municipal water supplies for pipeline leakages by seeking abnormalities in information gathered about water consumption, for example. Another possible usage is to leverage the big-data possibilities of this information to generate forecasts of water usage in a variety of situations, helping to ensure that everyone has a stable supply of water available.
The Smart Add-on Meter Box will eventually be applied for use in residential areas alongside an app, and users can use it to help reduce unnecessary expenses by getting alerts about leaky faucets or a tap that was accidentally left on, for example.Acer Being Communication is committed to finding a solution that leads to the creation of “smart water cities”, but sees this as only being the first step. It is currently developing solutions that are capable of reading meters without digital interfaces, such as gas meters. Such solutions are promising because they enable any meter to become a smart meter with IoT functionality, opening the door for the generation of new AIoT applications and services in the future.