Finding the food that you had your eye on has gone past its ‘use by date' when you open your fridge, is a frustrating feeling that many can emphasise with.

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But the smart fridges of the future, that can cleverly remind you to eat something before it goes off, are here now, literally opening the door and shining the light on a whole new connected world.


They use the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology, a rapidly expanding networking system to collect and communicate data, making our world an increasingly smarter place - and they're not the only device to do so.


Now, Northumbrian Water wants to whet the appetite of other organisations, exploring how they can work together to harness this IoT technology and completely transform the way they operate.


The water company is once again partnering up with telecommunications giant, O2, at its online Innovation Festival next month, who will be leading on this topic at one of the ‘years' worth of work in a week' challenges.


Innovative minds and industry experts from right around the world, will spend four action-packed days huddled together virtually, to look at what IoT devices could be rolled out at scale to improve operational efficiencies and resilience.


From monitoring critical infrastructure, to tracking products and measuring activity, the aim for festival-goers is to discuss solutions that will enable organisations to gain greater insights across their entire networks for the benefit of their business, their people and their customers.


Richard Warneford, Northumbrian Water's Wastewater Director, said: "Water and wastewater may seem like a very traditional industry, but at the beating heart of it has always been innovation.


"We continue to work with our partners to look for new ways to improve the resilience of our core services, using new methods and tools to improve what we do. Connected IoT devices that talk to us and inform us of potential issues, will allow us to better manage our water and wastewater networks, predicting things like blockages in sewer pipes and identifying leaks quicker.


"I'm really excited about the IoT sprint, which opens up the endless possibilities of this technological advancement and we want to empower others to join us and collectively help the nation to build back better."


Brendan O'Reilly, Chief Technology Officer at O2 said, "Our relationship with Northumbrian Water goes from strength to strength as we continue to look at new ways of exploring the benefits of cutting edge technology. IoT will revolutionise the way people and businesses are able to capitalise on mobile connectivity, providing more efficient and productive services for their customers."  


The Northumbrian Water Innovation Festival is taking place online from 14-17 September. To find out more about the IoT challenge, or to sign up, visit


People interested to find out what the team comes up with during the week, can follow the action on social media by following @NorthumbrianH2O on Twitter and LinkedIn