Smart energy company Energy Aware, based in Vancouver, Canada, has developed a new product called Neurio that is designed to help people better control their domestic energy usage by monitoring home appliances. The product also allows users to be reminded of domestic tasks involving appliances. In cases of smart appliances, Neurio can detect behavior patterns and program appliances to meet specific requirements.
To be at the hub of all electricity consumption in the house, the Wi-Fi-enabled Neurio sensor is installed in the breaker panel and sends data to a cloud service that analyzes it with smart pattern detection algorithms. The package includes an app called Wattson (iOS and Android), which reports power usage in real-time and can notify users when they forget to turn something off and tell them how much energy their appliances are using. Since Neurio uses Wi-Fi to send all the data to a cloud server, it can be accessed anywhere.
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Although its remote electricity consumption monitoring capabilities are similar to other products such as MeterPlug, Neurio does not require the installation of sensors on every individual device around the home.
Neurio can detect the biggest energy guzzlers in a home and estimate how much of the total consumed they account for. Energy Aware claims that beta users have cut up to 44 percent off their energy bills by using the device to identify what appliances they should turn off or unplug.
In order to keep track of a home’s electricity usage, Neurio watches for the signature that devices produce on a home’s power lines. "When it sees the power signatures of a washing machine, and it doesn't see one for a dryer right after, it can message the user to remind them to dry their clothes," Ali Kashani, Neurio's software lead, told Gizmag, adding that the system makes "ordinary appliances smart," which is part of a concept the company calls "learning home."
"With Neurio, every appliance in the home can learn. Since Neurio monitors the whole home, it can figure out when someone is home or when they're cooking or doing laundry or going to bed, and that information can either be used to send timely notifications to users or to send commands to the connected devices in the home," said Kashani.
He added that the company is integrating with partners such as SmartThings, so it can push its information to the "smart devices" in the home and make them adjust automatically based on user behavior. Neurio also has an open platform with a public API, so it can power new apps and integrate with third party systems designed to automate the home.
A Kickstarter campaign has been launched to raise funds for the project. Funding options start at $149 CAD (US$144) for a complete package with delivery estimated for April 2014.
Energy Aware CEO Janice Cheam makes her pitch in the video below.