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'Water Monitor' that tracks tanker misdeeds, consumption patterns

Rasheed Kappan, Bengaluru, Jan 24, 2016, DHNS: 0:45 IST

Technology, a part of security system for apartment complexes

Water Monitor, a tablet-based application, visually captures every waterload and promises to break that hitherto unchecked nexus between the tanker drivers and security guards.
In two months, with the onset of summer, the notorious water tanker mafia will spread its tentacles across Bengaluru. Even if apartment dwellers find it tough to monitor that water quality, they could now track the quantity right at the gate.

Water Monitor, a tablet-based application, visually captures every waterload and promises to break that hitherto unchecked nexus between the tanker drivers and security guards.

Launched by City-based startup ApnaComplex, the app breaks the existing system where only the driver and guard keep track of the number of trips and quantity of water unloaded, in a register. The trip numbers and water quantity are often inflated, triggering billing headaches for apartment associations.

“A lot of cheating, unethical practices take place at this stage since the entries are manual,” points out ApnaComplex co-founder Gokul Singh.

The app takes a picture of the tanker with the numberplate and links it to an automatic time stamp. The deliveries are then mapped to a bill, thus negating foul play. “Water consumption patterns could also be monitored this way. As a complimentary offer, the system is now being tried in three apartment complexes in Bengaluru and Chennai,” the startup’s co-founder Raja Sekhar Kommu told Deccan Herald.

Gatekeeper

ApnaComplex had earlier introduced the Gatekeeper, a community security solution. It was a technology-based alternative to the visitors’ logbook, where visitors of all hues gain access to an apartment complex/gated community once they enter a name, number and flat number.

The app chose to address the big flaw in the system: Inability to check if a visitor’s phone number is genuine or if he/she has knocked on any other door once inside the premises.

Here’s how the Gatekeeper works: Once the visitor’s details are entered, it sends a verification code to that mobile number. Only after the visitor enters this code does he/she gains entry into the complex.

The system also sends an SMS to the flat resident concerned with details of the visitor, including photographs of him/her and their vehicle. It could also pre-populate details of frequent visitors based on their mobile number. Vehicle-tracking with RFID stickers is another key security feature of this system.

“For instance, if your driver drops you at your office and returns the car to the apartment, the system reads the RFID and sends you an alert once the vehicle crosses the security gate,” explained Singh. The system is currently installed in about 600 apartments/gated communities in the City.

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