Northumbrian begins ‘smart community’ AI project

Northumbrian Water has embarked on a project with smart video platform Vyntelligence (Vyn) and AI-driven gig customer service platform Limitless to equip members of the public in rural areas to report on faults in their water supply.

Limitless users who live in largely-rural areas served by Northumbrian Water will be able to use Vyn’s software to take short structured videos of faults such as burst or leaking pipes in roads and homes that they become aware of, and submit them directly to Northumbrian to flag the issue.

These Rangers will then be rewarded for their effort through the Limitless app. Northumbrian will also be able to proactively reach out to citizens near to a reported issue and ask them to attend and capture video, so NWG staff can assess the appropriate next steps.

The idea is being explored and planned in one of Northumbrian’s annual Innovation Festival Sprints (‘A Year of Work in a Week’) between 14 and 18 September, where Limitless, Vyn, and Northumbrian will look to kickstart the project in only a week.

Northumbrian Water group chief information officer Nigel Watson said: “We’re in our fourth year of the festival and it is always wonderful to see how we (Northumbrian Water) come together with our partners and others to produce new solutions to business problems we’ve been wrestling with for many years in some cases. We look to scale-ups as one source of fresh thinking.

“Over the course of the past 12-18 months we have really enjoyed working with Limitless and Vyntelligence. We’re really excited that they are coming together in the context of the festival to explore how we can work hand in hand with our customers to achieve better outcomes for them and us.”

Limitless co-founder Megan Neale said: “This is an exciting new option for our users, which simultaneously generates extra income for them and allows them to serve and support their local community.”

Vyntelligence co-founder and chief technology officer added: “In today’s uncertain times, businesses fight the battle to keep their people safe, manage costs and continue to respond to customer needs, we are very excited to have the opportunity to unleash the latent power of local customer communities.

“We are combining Limitless’ gig technology and Vyn’s unique capability, to guide residents to capture scenes as smart video and connect local people with businesses. The result is a smart community that takes an active part in resolving local issues and driving sustainable initiatives.”

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