Data Driven Futures
Why do we cut corners

Tech startup to tackle water leaks

Written by Peter Walker

London tech startup Hero Labs has launched the UK’s first smart leak defence system.

The company laid out plans to install its tech into thousands of properties in the UK in next two years – with a focus on mass-affluent consumers.

It cited statistics suggesting that every day, over three billion litres of clean drinking water escapes from faulty pipes in the UK, costing UK insurers £2.5 million a day, or nearly £1 billion a year.

Sonic is a smart leak defence system that combats leaks in real time. Fitted in most cases under the sink, it’s the only product in the UK to use ultrasonic technology to monitor water use and then spot anything unusual using algorithms – from a slow dripping tap, to a burst water pipe. It sends an alert via the Sonic app and can automatically shut off the water supply to prevent a water leak damaging possessions and property.

It is also the UK’s first battery-powered leak defence system, so there’s no need for wiring to the mains, and its proprietary radio technology can penetrate as many as eight concrete floors, so it can be installed in basements, or other difficult to access spaces where there is no WiFi signal. An optional Hero Assist service adds human-based monitoring centre and a 24/7 emergency assistance.

Sonic will help insurers combat escape of water claims – which are the most expensive type of home insurance claim in the UK. Hero Labs is already in conversations to partner with well-known UK insurance companies.

Hero Labs was founded in September 2018 by Krystian Zajac, who also launched the UK’s first smart home insurer, Neos, which Aviva took a majority share in at the end of 2018. Hamish Neale also leads the company as commercial director, bringing over ten years’ experience in smart home tech, most notably from CEDIA, the trade body supporting high tech home installations for the world’s most affluent households.

Zajac commented: “Water leaks are a massive issue in the UK, from damaging people’s homes and possessions to destroying the environment, but very little is being done about it.

“Our cutting-edge, AI-powered technology is designed to stop water leaks at the source, saving businesses and insurers money on claims, and saving consumers hassle,” he added.

Sonic will be launching to consumers in Autumn 2019.