EnergyAware’s Neurio is Your Home’s New Brain

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50 billion devices. Cisco estimates by 2020, 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet.

Our homes will be a key hub in this new ‘Internet of Things’ world. We hear the buzz about “talking appliances”: Nest has been a game changing control system, we can control lights and locks, and we can water the plants or feed our pets remotely with new smartphone apps. All really cool, yet also fragmented. Most of these things don’t talk with other and we end up with a very incomplete picture about how our homes operate.

Think of your home’s wiring system like a nervous system. Between the wiring and your wireless router, there can be a lot going on in your home at any given moment.  The one constant is that energy is always being consumed. Think about the number 150, as in dollars per month. By some estimates that will be the average Canadian’s monthly electrical bill in 2020. How much of our bills are from waste? Wasting energy costs us all. It’s impacts our wallets and the environment.

Do you really know who the specific culprits are behind that bill? Is it time to put an appliance out to pasture? These are tough questions to get the answers for. Our homes might have a nervous system, but they are sorely lacking a brain. Thanks to Vancouver’s EnergyAware though, our homes are getting closer to being much more intelligent.

Since 2005 the founders of EnergyAware have been working with a vision of connecting people to resource conservation. Thanks to a fairly recent “AhHa” moment, they’ve married a hardware device with software and are launching Neurio. They have received early acceptance and positive validation with a Kickstarter campaign that’s exceeded their $95,000 goal within nine days of launch.

“Technology has changed many aspects of the way we live, but how we interact with our homes hasn’t evolved significantly since they became wired a century ago. For years, we have been plugging in devices and controlling them manually with switches, knobs, and buttons, and there’s a lot more that can be done to enhance our ability to manage our appliances and see them as part of the home’s ecosystem,” said Janice Cheam, CEO of Energy Aware Technology. “Imagine if your washing machine sent you a message when it was done, or if your oven sent a reminder if you forgot to turn it off. With Neurio, we are introducing the learning home. Neurio lets regular appliances take part in the smart home, learns our preferences, and interacts with us when necessary. The innovative technology and advanced algorithms in Neurio make this possible with a central sensor and a powerful online application.”

The Neurio Sensor is a whole-home electricity monitor that’s installed in your breaker panel. The sensor measures the flow of electricity into your home, and transmits the data via WiFi. Neurio monitors your home’s electricity and figures out what your appliances are up to. There’s no need to install sensors on every device either.

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For Ali Kashani (VP of software) “Neurio the turning all of your energy data into actionable intelligence.” He’s also excited about the use cases they haven’t yet considered. According to Kashani, “one campaign supporter talks about not having a clothes dryer, and integrating Neurio with an online weather forecast to predict if it’s going to rain, in order to decide if the time is right for hanging the clothes out to dry.”

In fact Neurio could well be helping define the space of home intelligence.

As well “In 15 minutes or less, a Neurio sensor can be installed in any solar home, either on its own, or along with other control systems and devices such as batteries, thermostats, cable boxes, or alarm systems,” says Jon Hallam, VP Engineering. “Early customers have saved up to 44 percent of their total energy usage just by interacting with our user-friendly app on web or mobile.”

For the EnergyAware team bringing Neurio to market is about making peoples lives easier. No more worrying about whether you left the iron or the stove on before leaving your home. More importantly they are focused on the message of promoting sustainable values. With Neurio giving you insights into the way you use energy in your home they will be helping you minimize waste, and of course saving you money.

John Gray

John Gray

John jumped into the start-up world in early 2009. He was co-founder of Mentionmapp, a visual analytics company that was acquired by OverInteractive Media in October 2011. John’s also been a Vancouver Startup Weekend organizer. He’s now a full time freelance writer and enjoys exploring stories about the intersection of our human experience with technology. John has a B.Ap.Sc. in Communications and a B.A. in English, both from Simon Fraser University.