The three co-founders brought advanced speech recognition technology to mobile phones including voice search, voice text messaging and dictation. They were also the original team that developed Siri before it was sold to Apple. As their tagline states, “We are putting our energy into helping you better understand yours.”
To use Sense, you don’t have to have a smart phone. Sense is quick to install. It's a small box that connects to your electric panel and a smartphone app. It requires no connected devices. Sense listens to everything in your home — smart or... not-so-smart.
The home energy monitor listens to each appliance’s unique electrical signature through current sensors on the main breakers in your electric panel. It records them millions of times per second. It then applies multi-domain device signature detection algorithms to distinguish one appliance from another.
Here is a sample of the kinds of “reports” Sense can provide.
• You watched 16 hours of TV this week
• Weeknights from 5-7 pm you use the most energy
• Replace that old fridge, it will pay for itself in 3 years
• You had your air conditioning on twice as many hours as last year
With Sense you can be more efficient than your neighbors. See which appliances use the most energy and how they stack up to other homes. Track watts like footsteps. The monitor will also give you an early warning when an appliance needs maintenance.
Sense is able to identify many electrical devices in typical homes based on their unique electrical signatures and the company is continuing to expand Sense’s device detection abilities. As they get data from more and more homes, the performance and coverage of their device detection will improve.
You don’t have to train Sense. The device is able to identify common appliances (refrigerators, washing machines, etc.) on its own. It recognizes other devices, but may not be able to identify all of them — you can name these once they are detected. The company is also developing a "Teach Me" feature that allows you to give an example of devices you'd like Sense to recognize.
There are no subscription fees, just a one-time purchase of the monitor for $249 (a $50 discount for preordering). You can preorder the device from the company’s website with delivery scheduled for September, 2016.
The Sense energy monitor needs Wi-Fi to connect to the app. The app is currently available on iPhone. The company will be supporting Android by August 2016.
You will need to have access to your electric panel in order to install the Sense monitor. Sense works best in condos, townhouses, and single-family homes that have their own power meter. It does not yet work in apartment buildings unless the electrical panel is accessible from the apartment.