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Neurio sensor monitors multiple household appliances to cut energy consumption

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October 16, 2013

Neurio is designed to cut energy consumption by monitoring home appliances

Neurio is designed to cut energy consumption by monitoring home appliances

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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.

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.

Source: Neurio

About the Author
Antonio Pasolini Brazilian-Italian Antonio Pasolini graduated in journalism in Brazil before heading out to London for an MA in film and television studies. He fell in love with the city and spent 13 years there as a film reviewer before settling back in Brazil. Antonio's passion for green issues - and the outdoors - eventually got the best of him and since 2007 he's been writing about alternative energy, sustainability and new technology.   All articles by Antonio Pasolini
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4 Comments

Is this catered to European standards as well? would appreciate if there can be wired version with too many wifi signals buzzing around

u-day
16th October, 2013 @ 10:27 pm PDT

$144 for this thing? Really? do you know how much electricity you would need to "WASTE" in order to make this worth it? Where I live, electricity costs 9 cents per kilowatt hour...

The $144 that this costs is equivalent to one thousand, 600 kilowatt hours of use.

So, if my average monthly electricity use is 800 Kilowatt hours per month, and this thing will reasonably save me 25% (and I'm being generous...there is no way I believe the reported 44%). That's 200 kilowatt hours per month savings. This means it would take me at least 8 months for me to just break even! And that is if I stick with it! Most people have the "gee-whiz" factor that only lasts a couple of months before they become bored with the thing and forget it's there and go back to their hard earned bad habits!

Ed
17th October, 2013 @ 03:16 pm PDT

To Ed's point, the value proposition may be sketchy. However, the fact that Neurio determines which appliances are being used by their pattern of power usage is really cool. Not having to put an device on EVERY appliance would make the value proposition more attainable. I assume it can tell when more than one device is working, like making toast when a load is in the washer. In our neck of the woods we have the new smart meters. I can see this as a logical extension of that. How effective it may be remains to be seen. And I wonder if it could be scaled-up to work on industrial/commercial systems.

Bruce H. Anderson
19th October, 2013 @ 09:18 am PDT

Re payback Ed, 8 months seems reasonable to me-what else gives an equivalment payback? I disagree that behavior will tend to return 'to the norm' for the majority as I don't think the 'majority' would buy it in the first-place!

Brendan Dunphy
24th October, 2013 @ 09:18 am PDT
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