At the end of 2013, a group of people calling itself Energy Aware, launched a Kickstarter project for a device they had created called Neurio—an electricity sensor that connects to a home's breaker panel and keeps track of usage—data is sent from it via WiFI to a cloud storage facility where it is analyzed put into a form that makes sense and then sent to the user's smartphone. The purpose of the device is first and foremost to give homeowners a better picture of where the electricity in their home is being used. The Kickstarter project was successful in that the team received far more in pledges than they were asking, which meant that they were able to put the finishing touches on their product and have it put into production. And now, those that made pledges are receiving their product.
The Neurio, which is actually more of a system than a single device, is a new way to implement the idea of the Internet of Everything—instead of hooking up a sensor to every light, appliance, etc. there is just one sensor, right where all the power comes into the house. The system is able to identify individual appliance use via training with a homeowner. The device is thereafter identified by the uniqueness of the amount of power it draws. Thus, big energy users such as clothes dryers, ovens, heaters, etc. can be identified and their energy use portions mapped in pie charts—doing, so the team claims on their web page, helps people reduce their energy usage (and thus their bill) by focusing on the energy hogs in their house.
But that of course is not the end of the story, the Neurio is also open platform which means it can "talk" to other web based services which means services like alerts can be created, such as letting a homeowner know if they have left the stove on after they have gone to work. Messages are sent to a smartphone, of course. Buyers of the Neurio also had the option to purchase something called a Trigger, which allows for programming apps to go along with the sensor—to have a message sent when the dryer cuts off, for example.
Looking to the future, the Neurio team plans to continue refining the ability of the sensor to detect different devices in the home, which if it leads to the single light bulb level, could mean homeowners would have not just full control of the electrical devices in their house, but full reporting of their usage from an independent source.
More information: www.neur.io/
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