I pick up my mail at a postal substation that used to take about 15 minutes to get to ... one way. Now it takes close to a half hour. The postal staff try to get the mail into the boxes by 11:30 AM. I would normally take a break from my day around noon and go to pickup my mail. Most days the mail was there but periodically the mail arrived late or the sorting didn’t get done on time or, worst of all, I had no mail that day and my mailbox was empty. I wished that I had some way of knowing when mail was put into my mailbox.
I looked online for some device that could be put in my mailbox to alert me that mail had been delivered but they all worked in proximity to your home ... say a rural mailbox ... and used some wireless signal. That was not suitable for me since my mailbox was about 10 kms away. I needed something that would send me an email or a text message to announce delivery. I could not find anything that did what was needed so I looked into ‘inventing’ something ... and the result is our eMdevice for Email Device.
Our device is placed in a mailbox and based on technology using an accelerometer and a proximity sensor, the device will send an email or a text message to one or more recipients when mail is placed on the box. It can also send a message when mail is retrieve so that, when a husband picks up the mail, his wife can be informed so she doesn’t stop. The device can use either WiFi or GSM to communicate but GSM is the likely choice for individuals. The device can be setup by the client on our website and the client can modify their account at any time.
Once I realized that we were creating a device that could send an email or text based on some occurrence, I thought of other applications where I’d like to receive an alert if something happened. Many things came to mind and, as I talked with friends, more applications were suggested.
I have a sump pump well and I know what happens if the pump fails ... my first indication is a soggy carpet in the basement which then mushrooms into an insurance claim and an expensive headache. Attach a simple water sensor to the eMdevice and it can warn me (and anyone else - e.g. my neighbour and my plumber) that the water is too high in my sump pump well .... well before any damage occurs. The device can even be connected to a solenoid switch that will shut off the water to your house if a leak is determined. The device can also warn us when the motor is deteriorating and when the power circuit to the pump is disconnected - e.g. blown circuit breaker.
I have a 26' enclosed car hauling trailer that sits much of the time in a u-store-it lot. I worry that someone might break into it again, it’s already happened once, and my tires and tools will be stolen. A pressure mat inside the door of the trailer connected to an eMdevice could warn me and the police of a break in.
Others have suggested a pressure mat in boats and homes; water sensors for a home hot water heater; temperature and/or water sensors for cottages or vacation homes; connection to product cycle testing equipment to report a failure. Once we get the website up and get some initial sales, I’d like to have a contest each month where we award a prize of one of our units for the most innovative use that month. I suspect that we would get lots of ideas that we had not thought of.
Once I realized that we were creating a device that could send an email or text based on some occurrence, I thought of other applications where I’d like to receive an alert if something happened.