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Conserving Energy through IoT-Enabled Water Heaters

Adaptable Controls
App Control
xi_scheduling
Quick to Market
Remote Monitoring
Conserving Energy through IoT-Enabled Water Heaters

Working with Xively to introduce connectivity to its newest Model 3 water heater, Heatworks created a backend and app capable of remote control and monitoring in rapid time.

The Challenge

After an attempt to build the first version of the product on their own, the Heatworks team knew they needed to look for an IoT platform that would meet their needs and allow them to focus on delivering the product they envisioned. The Model 3 water heater by Heatworks had to be connected, remote controlled, and self-reporting. These features were crucial to competing in a crowded market and standing out to consumers, but could not delay the launch.

With a clear vision of their end goal, Heatworks evaluated IoT solutions and ultimately chose Xively because of its out-of-the-box solutions for monitoring intermittent connectivity, data structure, device management, user management, and more.

The Solution

Heatworks looked to Xively to support IoT connectivity and management of their water heaters. Rather than spending years cobbling together solutions, dashboards, and functionality, they cut down on time to market and resources by leveraging Xively out of the box.

Xively was used to power Heatworks’ remote control app, providing an direct path to implementation. The app gave users the ability to select exact temperature and performance on-the-go, and use this data to change their water usage patterns. Because the app leveraged Xively’s backend, Heatworks rapidly produced and shipped their product and app, without the need for in-house expertise or custom software.

Consumers would gain specific control over their water system with Xively, and use this data to change their habits. The level of granular control provided by Heatworks’ heater made it possible to adjust water temperature for the season or user, and even shut o water in an instant. The power of IoT connectivity also has direct cost implications for consumers, who can now use Heatworks’ devices to cut heating costs and control when water is heated on demand.

Xively also helped unlock a wide range of data from its Model 3 water heater. While nearly all water heaters on the market live in the “dark,” hidden in basements and rarely seen until there’s a problem, Heatworks’ version constantly communicates with the manufacturer. Vital diagnostic, usage, and error data are streamed to Heatworks, allowing Heatworks to patch bugs or adjust the software before the customer finds an issue. Powered by Xively, Heatworks products can help customers examine granular temperature data to increase precision, or even monitor water quality.

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Powered by Xively, Heatworks products can help customers examine granular temperature data to increase precision, or even monitor water quality.

Key Takeaway

After a brief exploration in DIY solutions, Heatworks found Xively to be the right partner for a full-scale IoT release. Heatworks leveraged Xively to create a remote control app, build an IoT infrastructure, and integrate easily with its connected water heaters. With Xively in place, Heatworks created a device that was optimized for user experience, providing a first-to-market control system, a stream of important usage data, and connectivity without the need to design a custom system or build the architecture in-house. Heatworks saved time and money, and gave their buyers a better way to manage energy and habits.

Case Study Results

Adaptable Controls

Xively monitors IoT device performance, critical data, and functionality. With this information on hand, Heatworks offers water heaters that adjust automatically to peak performance and set smart thresholds for the average user. Controls can be adjusted by users or by Heatworks to optimize performance.

App Control

Heatworks water heaters can be remotely controlled by a connected app, powered by Xively. Through Xively APIs, Heatworks offered consumers on-the-go control without extra design work and without a delay to market. Xively integrated easily with Heatworks’ systems to cut down on engineering work.

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Quick to Market

Xively enabled Heatworks to quickly design and launch its app and connected software, cutting down on risk and enabling the company to meet its launch goals. Because Xively provides out-of-the-box connectivity and integration, Heatworks did not need to wait to create its own IoT backend and risk competition.

Remote Monitoring

With Xively powering the backend, Heatworks and consumers alike can monitor health and performance remotely. This visibility helps Heatworks adjust and improve its water heaters without needing to visit homes or wait for buyers to profile issues. Heatworks receives a constant stream of usage data, and consumers get smart information on their own energy and water use.