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Ottobox learns your schedule to lower your electricity bills

Ottobox learns your schedule t...
Ottobox is a smart home automation device that promises to save you money on your electricity bills
Ottobox is a smart home automation device that promises to save you money on your electricity bills
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Ottobox is a smart home automation device that promises to save you money on your electricity bills
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Ottobox is a smart home automation device that promises to save you money on your electricity bills
Ottobox features two USB ports, allowing you to charge multiple mobile devices at any one time
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Ottobox features two USB ports, allowing you to charge multiple mobile devices at any one time
Ottobox 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
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Ottobox 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
Ottobox plugs into a regular wall socket, and controls the flow of electricity into anything plugged into it
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Ottobox plugs into a regular wall socket, and controls the flow of electricity into anything plugged into it
You can access Ottobox and monitor your electricity usage via the accompanying mobile app on your smartphone or the web-based dashboard
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You can access Ottobox and monitor your electricity usage via the accompanying mobile app on your smartphone or the web-based dashboard
A whole range of devices can be plugged into Ottobox, though sadly only one at a time
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A whole range of devices can be plugged into Ottobox, though sadly only one at a time
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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.

A whole range of devices can be plugged into Ottobox, though sadly only one at a time
A whole range of devices can be plugged into Ottobox, though sadly only one at a time

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.

Sources: Ottomate, Kickstarter

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4 comments
Tom Benson
I don't believe the 50% for as long as it took to read it! Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory: phantom loads, also called standby power or vampire loads, refer to electricity used by appliances and equipment while they are turned off or not performing their primary function (1). Almost any appliance with an external power supply, remote control, continuous display or battery charger will draw power continuously. The Laboratory estimates that phantom loads account for 5-10% of residential electricity use in most developed countries and a rising fraction in developing countries (especially in cities). Got that 5 to 10%. Maybe if you live in a dorm room, that does not allow you to have a refrigerator or cooking appliances then the 50% claim could be true, but then how high would your electric bill be? At $120 a unit and you would need multiple units, say one for the TV, one for the computer, one for - you name it - where's the savings? If you live in a real home, with heating, air conditioning, refrigeration your saving would be maybe that 5 to 10% but even then your going to need a dozen or more of the devices to achieve that savings. Some ideas look good on paper but don't work in the "real world" this doesn't even look good on paper.
Derek Hann
120 dollars?!?! American dollars? You had me up until then...but no thanks.
Koolski
This is a great idea. However, the first thing I thought was that you'd need several of them and at $120 that would, indeed, be expensive. I'd say $39 - $49 as the final price is more realistic.
grtbluyonder
The "standby mode" for most appliances draws minuscule power so the touted savings are illusionary at best. My tablet on standby draws 10ma at 5 volts. That's 50 milliwatt hours or .008 cents (at 16cents/kwh) per hour.
Bah humbug, save your money and don't waste your time looking at appliance draws that are much about nothing.