Buddy in Action: Water Quality Demo at Mobile World Congress

Written by Buddy

Residents in Flint, Michigan have been battling water quality issues for almost two years, culminating in a serious public health crisis and state-of-emergency, as thousands were exposed to lead-contaminated water. The after-effects leave many wondering what happened, who is responsible, and more importantly, how it could have been prevented.

Buddy has been following this disaster closely in order to understand how technology can be leveraged to generate alerts and notifications to health officials and the general public before a crisis gets out of hand. This week, we are exhibiting at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, an event the brings together leaders in the mobile industry. We thought this would be a perfect opportunity to take a real-world and relevant example of ‘Buddy in Action’ and have created a water quality demo that showcases how Buddy integrates with distributed devices and sensors. The result is quality, real-time data, that could be used to preemptively alert health officials of system abnormalities that could then be addressed immediately.

Here is a brief look at how the Water Quality Demo works:


The Buddy demo uses water turbidity as a proxy for the overall water quality.  A variety of other water quality characteristics could be measured using this same design.  In our demo, data is captured from a turbidity sensor and displayed real-time on a dashboard.  If the turbidity level crosses a certain threshold (for example, 100 NTU), the sensor alerts by changing the color of smart lightbulbs in two separate locations.  Finally, to showcase Buddy’s integration capabilities, pre-existing water quality analysis and visualization data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) is presented for comparison against real-time data captured.


The demo can be broken down into the following key steps:

  1. Turbidity sensor is placed in water sample
  2. Data is collected, processed, and streamed real-time to Splunk
  3. As the sensor detects key thresholds, light bulbs change color indicating a threshold was met
  4. Data is compared against a data-set of water quality data provided by USGS

Buddy is excited to showcase a real-world example that can have immediate impact on improving the quality of people’s lives.  The reality is that applications in similar scenarios are almost limitless and can go a long way in creating consumer confidence and trust in safety and health standards.

Please visit us while we are at Mobile World Congress!  We can be found at the “Choose Washington” Booth:  space hall 8.1, stand 8.1B58.  Or connect with us via Twitter @buddyplatform or email [email protected].