Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Busting a Rogue Surfer and Four Other Unexpected Benefits of Owning a Buoy

By Carrie Kingsley
Buoy Labs

June 15, 2017 — Santa Cruz, CA

Want to be smarter and better looking, AND save money on you water bill?

When we created the Buoy, we wanted to save homeowners money and give them control over how they use their water. That part is getting great results and rave reviews. But, as we make more progress and reach more homes, we’re helping Buoy owners in ways we didn’t expect. At no point did the product design documents note benefits in the areas of truancy, handwashing, or handling neighborhood side eye. But, it happened. We aren’t saying these are the best reasons for Buoy ownership, just passing along some of the findings from our beta program.

  1. Buoy can tell you if your surfer cut class. All the kids are at school, but both your outdoor shower and your indoor shower are being used? Check the surf report. And the attendance office. Several teens whose homes are in our Santa Cruz beta program are currently looking for ways to get water to bypass their Buoys between 8am and 2pm. (Not possible, but keep trying, champ.)
  2. Buoy can shame people into not spreading germs. Inform all the people in your household that Buoy can tell when they flush the toilet AND if they wash their hands afterward. There’s nothing wrong with getting people to shame-wash their hands. Nothing.
  3. Buoy gives you data to show that neighbor who gives you the side eye about your green lawn while bragging about how short her showers are. Neighbors should be neighborly, and close-knit communities are irreplaceable. But, the next time she makes passive-aggressive comments about the lushness of your lawn or the fullness of your pool, whip out your phone and show her the app. Let her see for herself that you’re still only using half your water allotment, or that your showers are even shorter than hers. Or just that you care enough to pay attention to how you use water. Follow up that phone-whippage with a smile, and, on the next garbage day, take her cans to the curb. Because a snippy exchange about water usage is how bad mojo gets spread, and none of us need that. Good mojo only, neighbor.

Continue reading this article here.



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