Costco Applies IoT For Water Savings

Mandee Thomas
Sep 24, 2018 8:05:00 AM

The Internet of Things is rife with opportunities and potential for businesses and individuals alike. And we’re seeing IoT solutions take shape not only in the tech world, but in several high-profile companies as well. Through Long Range technologies designed to monitor resources, the applications for new IoT devices are seemingly endless.

What is Long Range Technology (LoRa)?

Semtech Corporation, a supplier of mixed-signal semiconductors, has been developing LoRa application technology with the three objectives in mind: (1) smarter planet, (2) higher bandwidth and connectivity, and (3) greater mobility.

Semtech’s LoRa devices make use of a low power wireless platform to monitor utility systems. The hope is that this technology will have an immensely positive impact on the planet by: reducing the strain on natural resources, providing energy management, increasing infrastructure efficiency, supplying better energy performance, and even preventing disasters.

How Costco Saved Money and Resources with LoRa Technology

Costco was one of the earliest adopters of Semtech’s IoT as a water management system, and they’ve seen some pretty incredible results. Not only did they have access to a minute-by-minute report on the water usage at their various locations, but, using this new LoRa technology, they were able to drastically decrease their water waste. Since implementing the system, they’ve reported a 20% reduction in water waste along with a 22% savings in water bills.

Alistair Fulton, Vice President of Product Management in Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group, believes that Costco’s success is indicative of this IoT solution’s potential for growth.

“Semtech provides companies a cost-effective and reliable solution for water management as well as the ability to save millions of dollars in overhead cost. As water becomes a scarce resource, cities and governments will begin implementing IoT solutions to create a smarter planet,” he said. “Semtech’s LoRa Technology, a proven and flexible IoT solution, drives low-risk and fast-to-market IoT solutions enabling customers to drastically save as they grow their business." 

The Onset of 5G

With the dawn of 5G nearly upon us, it stands to reason that the applications and use cases for technologies like the one implemented at Costco will only continue to expand. With Verizon launching the first 5G commercial internet service next month, the capabilities that come with high-speed connectivity and low-latency are sure to start rolling out for all aspects of business.

The time to start developing a business strategy around 5G and the implementation of more IoT devices is now. Businesses who embrace digitalization in their business model stand to benefit not only with an increase in revenue streams, but also through a reduction in overhead cost due to wasted resources.

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