gallery connected things

Gross truth for New Yorkers: About 27 billion gallons of raw sewage are dumped in the New York Harbor every year, thanks to sewer systems that overflow during a storm. aims to warn New York residents when these overflows happen, so they don't flush the toilet and inadvertently make the problem worse.

Sensors at the sewer send water-level data to Cosm -- the same platform that powers Natural Fuse -- which in turn are made available to users through Cosm's Twitter and text-message services.'s creators also hacked together a "Bulbuino," a lightbulb-like orb that changes color based on the sewer's water-level data. It can offer a visual cue to skip the flush.

"It's a great example of the 'Internet of Things' advancing. People are so bored of hearing about the Internet-connected fridge, which is really just a fridge with a tablet attached," says Usman Haque, the Cosm founder. "It's moving beyond that: the capacity to not only record, but also share, compelling data that can change our world."

- Last updated September 18 2012 09:05 AM ET
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