Zia and Farrukh casually began another endless rant over the growing cost of basic utilities: electricity, water, gas, you name it. The conversation between these two friends, however, targeted one specific utility – gas. The environmentalists complain about the finite nature of gas as a resource, the consumers complain of how it costs more every next day, the suppliers complain about how they’re doing everything they can but the true nature of the industry lies in one simple fact: the water heaters we use in our households still operate on technology that was pioneered in 1950. That’s right, back around the time of independence, when Liaquat Ali Khan still walked and talked. Given their background in mechanics and engineering, Zia and Farrukh put together a team to put forward a product that they believed would revolutionise the way this resource was controlled and utilised, not only in Pakistan but practically all over the globe.
With that, they set forth on a journey that began with a simple plan based on the back of a napkin to a product that is all but ready to launch. This is where the Jal Bujh campaign on Indiegogo comes in. Apart from containing a detailed statement of the product, the page also provides some lovely insights into how, why, where and when you can use Jal Bujh. The device function through a snap-on technology that allows it to gain access to the rotary gas dial on any old conventional (or “legacy”) water heater. The mechanics work in a manner that does not fall under the ambit of every reader to understand nor can this author do justice to the principles associated behind them; should you still be curious, however, then you are welcome to read through the comprehensive elaborations (along with very descriptive diagrams and drawings) on the page set up by the founders.
What Jal Bujh essentially does is that it offers you an interface on your Android (iOS coming soon) device whereby you can specify clear cut timings regarding when you want the heat to be powered on and what level you want the heat to be at. There are five preset levels which you can ask Jal Bujh to set your water temperature to: 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, Full and Pilot. Programmable through BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), your phone will then communicate with the relevant detailed to your own Jal Bujh device (provided it is within the 80 feet reach of BLE) and you are guaranteed and economical, eco-friendly, hot, comfortable shower each and every time. With several prototypes out in the market and with a response that is off the charts the founders are already bumbling under hundreds upon hundreds of requests. Now, as if all of that wasn’t enough, the Jal Bujh device works on a single pair of AA batteries and the expected life from each pair is approximately 18 months. They’re even working on several enhancements and upgrades that will make your Jal Bujh experience even more personal, one of these is a feature that allows separate routines to be set for different days of the week.
Jal Bujh’s campaign lays testament to the fact that true innovation comes to those who can’t bear to live without it and that if you’ve managed to do justice to your vision then there is absolutely nothing that can stand in your way. We see pioneers from every nation bringing forward each of their own creative inventions on pages like Indiegogo and Kickstarter. These international communities provide these developers with their much-needed capital at a much smaller cost and with virtually no lose to equity holding. As we see more and more of these startups churning themselves out of the infant tech industry in Pakistan, it’s heartwarming to see that these people haven’t forgotten the concept of ‘Social Entrepreneurship’. With companies like Markhor and Jal Bujh paving the way for a peer-based financial backing, it’s not long before our industry matures well beyond it’s infancy and looks up towards the vast skies that yet remain to be explored.