It’s a homeowner’s nightmare version of the old tree-falling-in-a-forest conundrum: What happens if a pipe bursts in a bathroom and nobody’s home to hear the water sensor alarm?

Sharper minds can sort out the philosophical question of whether a sound is made in this scenario, but the real-world result is clear: a flooded building with potentially thousands of dollars in damage.

It’s a problem that Noah Technologies, a startup based in Bonita Springs, FL, with R&D in the Milwaukee area, aims to solve with its Intelli-Sensor system. Common water sensor alarms, which can be purchased for as little as $10, make a loud noise to alert the homeowner of a leak. But some do nothing to actually stop it, and the homeowner would be clueless to the problem if he or she were away.

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