Ottobox is a smart home automation device that its makers claim could reduce your electricity bills by up to 50 percent. It does this by monitoring the appliances plugged into your wall sockets, and turning them off when they're not in use. The thinking is that all the energy wasted by appliances sitting in standby mode can soon add up to a hefty amount.
The device is a plug-and-play unit that sits between the wall socket and the appliances that need whipping into shape. The device reportedly contains patent-pending technology that "completely stops the flow of electricity" to the guilty appliances. It also learns – over the course of two weeks – when appliances are likely to be used, and turns them off at all other times.
Each Ottobox contains one plug socket and two USB ports, allowing you to charge multiple mobile devices at any one time. It also contains Bluetooth 4.0, allowing Ottobox to track your movements; Wi-Fi, allowing you to control Ottobox from anywhere within your home; and an ARM microprocessor that powers the whole thing.
You can access Ottobox and monitor your electricity usage via the accompanying mobile app on your smartphone or the web-based dashboard. The company behind Ottobox, run by Ameer Sami who created the first prototype aged just 16, promises there are no monthly fees beyond the initial purchase price.
Ottobox is being funded through a Kickstarter campaign seeking to raise US$50,000. A pledge of $49 is currently enough to secure one Ottobox when and if it ships in December 2015. Once the Kickstarter campaign is over, each Ottobox is expected to retail for around $120. The campaign video below features Sami talking about Ottobox.