Urban Spring Smart Hub
Urban Spring Smart Hub
Urban Spring Smart Hub will be plugged into 50 standard mechanical drinking water dispensers to read water consumption & operational data in order to enable efficient drinking water facility management and to demystify water quality to the HKUST community. Through connecting to a cloud database with NB-IoT connectivity, information such as water usage, temperature, and filter capacity are collected for management purposes. With public dashboards displaying the number of bottles saved across campus, users will see their collective environmental footprints regarding single-use plastic bottles and water consumption. It aims to cultivate the Bring Your Own Bottle (BYOB) behavior through multi-level data visualization and innovative user interaction.
What is the problem this project is trying to address?
Currently, HKUST’s water dispenser management is manual and costly. Although HKUST closely monitors drinking water quality with water testing and frequent filter changes, much of our campus managers’ effort is not communicated through to users, resulting in a lack of trust in water quality. Moreover, plastic pollution awareness campaigns could have a short-term effect on the behavioral change of BYOB. This project targets to improve operational efficiency and long-term community engagement.
How does this project support our sustainable smart campus as a living lab vision?
By digitizing dispenser management, it provides a smart approach to managing water resources on campus, enabling data-driven facility upgrade and expansion in the future. Plastic and filter wastes could be reduced through dispenser usage maximization and education. The project takes an agile and experimental approach to test the effectiveness of public and personalized data analytics, and reward systems to encourage long-term sustainable habits within the HKUST community. Besides, the team brings passionate students along the solution-building journey through hands-on Sustainability x Tech workshops on environmental awareness and resource management, integrating real-life experiments and education.
As the next phase of this project, the team will be testing out different approaches for interventions, with a goal to increase the number of people refilling water from fountains and encourage people to drink more water. The interventions would be focused on improving visibility of the dispensers, users’ perception on the hygiene conditions of the dispensers, environmental data visualization & communication, as well as personalized incentive schemes.