+31 (0)70 392 44 21

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Visit our location page for your nearest Althen location.


SmartBrick is a low-cost, high-tech, stick-and-play sensor system that can monitor large-scale structures to improve maintenance and safety.

Industrial IoT sensor solution for affordable and accurate monitoring of civil infrastructure  

SmartBrick is a new industrial IoT sensor solution designed for affordable and accurate monitoring of civil infrastructure (quay walls, foundations, buildings, etc.).

SmartBrick monitors inclination or slope and other physical parameters with high accuracy and transmits this data wirelessly directly to an online control centre. Uniquely, it combines accurate daily measurements, cost-effective and scalable manufacturing, integrated AI and ultra-low power consumption. This creates a fully wireless, easy-to-install, battery-powered and very cost-effective measurement system.

SmartBrick is currently being implemented to validate the concept before it is rolled out on potentially 200 kilometres of quay walls in Amsterdam.

Monitoring quay walls

"Currently, bridges and quay walls in our city are monitored and controlled in a traditional way. This only happens on about 10% of the city, while the remaining part is not without risk." says Casper van der Peet, technical manager of monitoring bridges and quay walls at the municipality of Amsterdam and project leader of the innovation competition in Amsterdam. "The SBIR was created to develop innovative techniques and methodologies that enable us to monitor all our bridges and quay walls in a cheaper and more efficient way. SmartBrick is one of the four winning and promising techniques from the SBIR, which we hope can help us further in this task."

Forty-six parties applied for the 2020 SBIR competition. Eight parties advanced to the first phase. In July 2021, it was announced that Althen won the competition with three other parties, with Althen receiving the highest score. The solutions from the competition are now being further developed and tested in practice. The final phase of the SBIR project runs until July 2022, after which SmartBrick can be rolled out further in the municipality of Amsterdam.

What is the problem with Amsterdam's canals?

SmartBrick is currently being implemented to validate the concept before it is rolled out across potentially 200 kilometres of quay walls in Amsterdam. See in the video what exactly Amsterdam's problem is and how SmartBrick can help to keep the city safe.

Winning, scalable and innovative concept

SmartBrick is a winning concept in the innovation competition from the city of Amsterdam. The committee considered the winning entries to be "high level, highly innovative and achievable." SmartBrick is nominated for several innovation awards.

Functional design and solid predictions

SmartBrick permanently monitors changes, damage and imminent risk of collapse. With SmartBrick it is possible to make solid predictions about the state and condition of civil infrastructures. Maintenance activities can be predicted and managed.

SmartBrick | Althen IoT

SmartBrick specifications

SmartBrick is an integrated (end-to-end) sensor and data solution that can be produced in high volume and makes early detection of potential failure of quay walls and bridges more efficient, faster, more accurate and cheaper.

The achieved requirements of SmartBrick are:

  • Two-axis inclination measurement with 0.05 degree accuracy and very likely below 0.05 degree accuracy
  • High frequency (multiple day measurements)
  • Lifetime of >5 years, possibly 7 - 10 years
  • Low cost per unit
  • Waterproof, scalable housing
  • Unobtrusive, appropriate, and historic design
  • Wireless data transmission without gateway
  • Expansion possibilities
  • Very easy to install using a QR code scanner and waterproof glue (also under water)

Easy to install

SmartBrick can be attached to any surface. The Stick & Play ensures that data is immediately displayed in a low-code big-data dashboard. Users can analyse large amounts of data independently or let AI process it automatically.

Interactive dashboards

With the interactive dashboard, the monitoring specialist can see from the control centre exactly where problems will arise. Which district, which canal and specifically which quay. With this dashboard, all quays can be continuously monitored.

Other applications

The SmartBrick solution is also 
designed for permanent and accurate
monitoring of buildings and infrastructure. With
SmartBrick it is possible to monitor all
our infrastructure in a cheaper and more efficient way.

More information & contact

Do you want to know more about how SmartBrick can help you monitor civilian infrastructure? Or would you like us to develop a similar IoT system as SmartBrick for you? Please feel free to contact Bernd Rietberg at +31 (0)70 392 44 21 or send an e-mail to sales@althen.nl. We are happy to help you.

More information about SmartBrick

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