Santa Cruz Tech Beat

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Calliope goes all-in as Buoy Labs, wins gold at Edison Design Awards

By Keri Waters
CEO and Co-founder, Buoy Labs (previously known as Calliope)

April 26, 2017 — Santa Cruz, CA

Big News at Buoy!

I’m honored to announce that Buoy — the first complete smart home device for managing household water use — has won gold at the Edison Design Awards in New York! We are so proud of the work of our excellent design partners, Herbst Produkt, in bringing Buoy to life and helping us develop a brand that says exactly what we want to say.

When we started this company, nearly two years ago, my co-founders and I knew we wanted to build a company that would demystify and simplify household water for real people. We know that the water landscape is changing. Here in the US, we get daily news reports about the increasingly dire state of our water infrastructure. Our own Hilary Bryant nicely summarizes why the water bill is rising faster than any other household bill, and why we’ll continue to pay more, even as we have to find ways to meet ever more stringent conservation targets.

We know this isn’t all bad news, though. Water is the ONLY 100% renewable resource. All water ends up recycled — remember learning about the water cycle? The water that you put into the sewer makes its way through water treatment, eventually back into our waterways, and out to sea. There, evaporation forms clouds, which drift over land and distribute clean water back to the earth in the form of precipitation. It all ends up somewhere — the hard part is moving it to where people need it.

That’s where technology can help. Unlike every previous time in history, when a community well running dry or a river suddenly changing direction meant that the human settlement would have to move, now we have tools to keep water flowing to homes, wherever they already exist. The only questions are how much we need to move, and how much it’ll cost.

We believe the first steps are:

  • Helping people understand how much water they really need and use every day for all the necessary activities — drinking, cooking, bathing, washing clothes, toilets, irrigation, etc. It’s hard to understand how to conserve or how to budget for the activities you love, when you don’t know what you need.
  • Eliminating leaks and other water inefficiencies that currently comprise about 10% of household water use. We can immediately save people money and help address the problem, before worrying about harder and more expensive changes. By eliminating those leaks, even in California — where the problem is acute — most households would be more than halfway to mandated conservation targets!

We knew we wanted to focus on water’s end users: real people. Families. There are certainly other water customers we could address: agricultural users, businesses, etc. We believe, however, that we can’t have an informed conversation with our government about how to make durable changes in the ways we source, allocate, price, and deliver water, unless we start with the basics: what does one person, or one family, need every day? How does that fit into the big picture?

We originally chose a name for our company that came from the Greek muses, and also was the name of a steam-based musical instrument — Calliope. It’s a beautiful word. Euphonious, even. Once we developed our product, though, it became clear that only one name really fit.

We worked with Scot Herbst and his team to simplify a big idea and an advanced set of technologies into a single, sleek product that would look stylish and work well in any modern home. His beautiful cylindrical design immediately caused us to think of buoys — those signposts in waterways that give you information and lead you safely home. We realized that the word Buoy said everything we wanted — about our product and our company.

We’ve gone all-in on Buoy as our brand

So today I’m also thrilled to announce that we’ve gone all-in on Buoy as our brand. We officially renamed the company to Buoy Labs, and will continue to build beautiful, simple, stylish products that help every homeowner manage their household water bill and water infrastructure. Our mission is to help every family continue to enjoy clean, abundant water, wherever they live.

Please join us over at buoywater.com to learn more about what we’re doing, and to pre-order your Buoy, which will ship later this summer!

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Originally published here: https://medium.com/buoy/big-news-about-buoy-5ffcd4069a8c

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