M2M data collection helps UK local authorities operate cloud-connected 'smart loos'
From fully automatic self-cleaning toilets to night-based pop-up urinals, Healthmatic and its data collection division H2evidence are providing ‘smart loo’ services which rely on M2M connectivity to remotely monitor and manage the facilities’ performances.
Behind each toilet lies the brains – a series of data loggers known collectively as a MOXI unit which transmit a range of data including operational statistics, servicing information, user traffic flow and safety data (e.g. the numbers of sharps found). Eben Wilson, H2evidence’s IT director, explains that the technology intuitively delivers a more pleasing experience for a unit’s visitors: “Smart loos are proving a cost-effective alternative to the traditional convenience. Our systems are in constant contact via the cloud enabling the facility managers to maintain the highest operational standards.”
Ensuring that the conveniences are always in touch, H2evidence have combined their smart monitoring systems with Wireless Logic’s connectivity services. As a leading M2M managed services provider, Wireless Logic specifies data SIMs from the UK’s major networks selected for their optimum localised coverage. Each of the SIM-based units is controlled and managed by Healthmatic and H2evidence via Wireless Logic’s dedicated Platform as a Service (PaaS), ‘SIMpro3’.
Justin Godfrey-Cass, account manager for Wireless Logic explains: “We were approached by H2evidence to provide a ‘one SIM fits all’ data solution for the Healthmatic portfolio of public conveniences. The criteria were simple – a choice of networks based on geo-focus, cost-effective tariffs and remote control of the entire SIM estate. We felt entirely confident in tailoring a package to meet these requirements and today we are connected to smart toilets the length and breadth of the UK.”
Wireless Logic’s PaaS SIMpro3 is a web-based platform with real-time data reporting, SIM provisioning/barring and a host of associated management tools giving clients 360° visibility on entire SIM estates.
Control of the SIM estate has reportedly been a ‘win-win’ for H2evidence, allowing them to provision connectivity at point of installation and have the ability to ‘park’ SIMs when not in use. “Parking SIMs is an additional bonus for us,” continues Eben Wilson. “Whilst many of our contracts run for years, we are increasingly being asked for related ‘pinpoint and attitude’ data analysis, where we set up smart devices that deliver localised surveys on public services. Not just toilets, but also parks and other public utilities where monitoring of use and attitude of users can steer local authorities to make their service offerings better. These are operated tactically and connectivity is for shorter periods. By remotely provisioning and parking the SIMs we are able to manage our base more effectively moving SIM from device to device.”
Smart monitoring of public services is driving down costs while increasing quality. Together, H2evidence, Healthmatic and Wireless Logic have developed a solution that meets the budget and service level requirements for councils UK-wide. “Resilient connectivity and good customer service were high on our selection criteria when choosing a data airtime partner. Our requirements were simply too specialised and demanding for a network directly,” concludes Eben Wilson of H2evidence. “We set out to find a seamless managed data service, and in Wireless Logic, we found it. We are happy, our local authority partners are happy, and most importantly, the country’s loo users have a smile on their face!”