Summary:

The connected home may not need sensors everywhere. Instead they’ll probably sit at strategic points and convey information generated by an algorithm. Neurio is a Kickstarter project that has this philosophy.

neurio-circuit-board

Picture the connected home of the future — does it have a sensor on everything, or does it make more sense to put a sensor at a few key points in the network and use algorithms to figure out what you want? Vancouver, Canada-based Energy Aware is betting on the latter with a new Kickstarter project for a device called Neurio. The premise is that the $150 gadget will sit inside your breaker box and monitor your home’s energy use.

The real benefit to the gadget isn’t in the hardware, but in the algorithms that Energy Aware uses in the cloud to make sense of the data that the box sends. It’s like something that Belkin has been working on and a similar idea to what a Khosla-backed startup called Bidgely is doing.

Using data Neurio can tell if you’ve left a stove on, or more alluringly, where you are in your home (so perhaps my dream of presence detection could come true without RFID or iBeacons). Below is the app that can be used to track energy consumption or monitor the home:

app-overview

Energy Aware already sells a version of its product to utility customers, but Neurio is its chance to capitalize on the smart home. Ali Kashani, Energy Aware’s VP of software tells me that the company is prepping an IFTTT channel and wants to let customers take the data and use it for building out home intelligence. The company’s CEO Janice Cheam explains that when someone turns on a light for example, or a stove or washing machine, it’s an indicator that they are in the room.

I like Neurio for the basic idea that you might not need a sensor on every item in your home to make it smart. It’s a similar philosophy to Soneter, an Atlanta-based startup that uses algorithms to measure water consumption in the home. If you can place a few sensors at strategic points in the home as opposed to sticking a bunch of sensors on every single object, that’s probably an easier sell for consumers or even smart home purveyors like ISPs or utilities.

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