A Colorado entrepreneur created a smart water sensor and app with the intention of making sure loved ones are OK.
“Adult children who have an elderly parent that they’re worried about who lives alone — that’s typically who our customer is,” Marlo Vernon said.
Marlo and her father Todd Vernon, a software developer, came together to launch CarePenguin, to detect water usage in the home.
“It’s a way to see if someone is up and active, going about their daily routine without being creepy and watching them with like motion sensors or cameras,” Vernon said.
The sensor connects to the hot water pipe on the water heater.
“We can detect things like rinsing a mug, washing your hands, washing your face, shower, laundry,” Vernon said.
It then connects to an app on a smartphone, so the user can monitor their loved one’s activity.
“If there’s ever a lack of activity, they’ll receive an alert encouraging them to check in and make sure everything’s OK,” Vernon said.
It’s an idea that started from her days at the University of Colorado at Boulder. When she graduated in May 2020, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, many older adults were isolated from their families. So, she saw it as a perfect way to give everyone peace of mind.
“I learned what a huge problem this is,” Vernon said. “Like, how worried people are, how they call their loved one every day purely to make sure they’re still alive. And that’s not a conversation that anyone wants to have.”