Sense — A Device for Saving Electricity by Alexander Gornyi


The post was originally published in Russian on Startup of the Day. Alexander kindly agreed to republish what we think is of great value to our readers.

An average family in the USA spends about 115 dollars a month on electricity, which is a considerable amount even for the richer Americans. One wants to save these money, but the common ways like ‘switch off the light after yourself’ don’t lead to any considerable changes in the electricity bills. One of the reasons is that the person has no clue about how the money gets spent in reality. It’s useless to switch off that toilet light – it burns less than 5 bucks even if it’s on 24/7 for the whole month.

Sense, the American startup of the day, shows how to save actually. It sells a device that integrates into the electrical net and understands which device is on at which moment by the change in the current. The information goes to the mobile app, and there are graphs and diagrams. The person realizes that one must confront the air conditioner and not the light and suffer from the heat and not from the darkness – but achieves the result. Sense claims that its users have their bills decreased by 9% on average. If you take a regular family, by the way, it seems like a minor saving – the device costs 300 dollars, the investment will pay off only in three years. With a bigger house and more consumption, the effect will be more interesting.

If the saving doesn’t convince you but you want the fancy app, you can also buy Sense for th safety. Electricity isn’t only money but also fire, the startup promises to decrease their probability too. Its landings are strong about advertising push messages in case of an iron left plugged in – it’s not an exaggeration, this is exactly the example with which they went. If the washing machine’s motor works badly, it will result in visible fluctuations, and Sense’s smart algorithms will reveal the problem and warn the owners. Then the owners can decide whether to call in a repair professional for the washing machine repair or an electrician (maybe from a firm similar to Aardvark Electric – electrical troubleshooting) to check the main plug in order to fix the problem.

However, it’s difficult to say how exactly useful it is, – the device will still need fixing, one might as well just wait until it breaks itself. The startup doesn’t dig that deep, ‘we warned’ is a sufficient value for advertising.

The company brought in USD 105M in its recent round.

#usa #megaround #hardware #ai

Translation: Kostiantyn Tupikov


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