It’s safe to say that we’re entering the age of the smart home. With smart doors, smart appliances and smart thermostats to accompany your various entertainment technologies, there’s plenty to turn on and off in a single home. Valta, a product looking to raise $100,000 on Kickstarter, is betting that absent-minded folks will be happy to save a few bucks by enabling them to turn off their home’s various technologies from their smartphones.
Valta is an energy management system comprised of two separate technologies: a communications hub linked to Wi-Fi, and a series of smart sockets from which the hub can direct information. The main priority of Valta is to curb gadgets in standby mode from leeching power. The system’s sockets have chipsets that identify when a device is turned on but not in use, the socket alerts the hub, which in turn pushes a notification to a user’s iPhone. From Valta’s proprietary app, the user can turn off the gadget in standby, even while away from the house.
But the creators of Valta say that users will be able to do more than just turn off electronics, including programming devices to turn on and off on regular intervals or firing up an entire entertainment system with a single swipe of a smartphone. The system also monitors long-term energy usage over time, so users can access the big data trends of their energy usage and understand what sucks up the most power every day.
An energy management system is a smart idea for technologically-inclined folks to make the most of their gadgets without spending a fortune on energy costs. But the Valta is entering into a rapidly expanding space full of hubs, smart systems and apps that will only survive if they play nice with other systems. While Valta is still in the prototype stage, how it interacts with other smart devices will determine whether it actually earns a place in the home of the future.