Konstantin Berezin, founder and CEO of BwareIT
Build a product that encourages behaviourial change
A smart, real-time water meter powered by water
In May 2016, President Obama visited Flint, Michigan, to drink a glass of water. The act was a show of confidence after two years of lead contamination in residential drinking water. While the stunt received international coverage, Konstantin Berezin found it unnecessary. “With my product, you don’t need to ask the president to sip water!”
That is what he told a U.S. congresswoman while pitching BrighTap at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2016 (an event hosted by the president himself). BrighTap, created by Israeli startup BwareIT, is a 1.5-inch sensor that measures water quality, temperature, and consumption when attached to any standard water tap. Impressively, it’s powered entirely by the water flowing through the pipes. For Berezin, the company’s CEO and founder, it’s about more than just measuring water quality, it’s also about educating people on water consumption. For this reason, a tiny LCD screen on the front of the device displays, in real time, how much water you’re using.
It’s a simple concept, Berezin explains. “Once we see the consumption, we consider the consumption.” Similar to the gas gauge in a car, BrighTap hopes to leverage behavioural psychology to change the way we interact with water. In particular, the work of B.F. Skinner played a big part in the product’s development. In the mid-20th century, Skinner, an American psychologist, developed the theory of operant conditioning, a type of learning that modifies a behaviour based on its consequences. By seeing the amount of water we use as a real figure, BrighTap hopes to build context around how we use water.
It’s about quality and quantity, about safety and savings.
This effect is multiplied when you realize the device is Wi-Fi-enabled, syncing to an app that is currently being developed. Not only can users monitor their consumption, but by developing city — and even neighbourhood — standards, they can start to see how they compare to the local average. Early testing has shown that using BrighTap can save up to 15 to 20 per cent on your water bill.
At the moment, there is still a long road ahead. BrighTap is still in its development phase, having gone through three distinct versions, but early feedback has been overwhelming. They’ve received $50,000 from Unilever’s Foundry program to help bring the product to market. An Indiegogo campaign is in the works. And that entrepreneurship summit hosted by Obama? BrighTap was within the top five finalists for their product pitch, among a group of over 1,200 individuals from 170 countries.
Looking downstream, Berezin and his partners, Ariel Drach and Alex Sudak, are pumped. “It’s about quality and quantity, about safety and savings. Small things can have a great impact.”
To find out more about BrightTap, visit brightap.com