Neurio Promises Smart, Efficient Home

For all the hype, smart housing is still in search of greater data integration and analysis. Enter Neurio, an impressive home automation Kickstarter project that’s kicking the butt of its original goal of $95,000: With just under 24 hours to go in its funding cycle, Neurio has raised more than C$235,000 already. The enthusiasm is due to the Neurio sensor and accompanying app’s ability to monitor your home’s webwork of energy activity and alert you when your inevitable human error happens to get in the way.

“Neurio transcends home energy monitoring and home automation,” Ali Kashani, vice-president of software for Neurio’s Vancouver-based parent Energy Aware Technology Inc., explained in an interview. “By sitting at the center of all electrical activity in the home, Neurio can find out when the washer finishes and text message to occupants to remind them to dry their clothes. It’s this ability to take ordinary appliances and tie them into a connected home, without having to replace the appliance.”

Neurio’s setup is relatively simple (and broken down quite well at CNET): Its WiFi-enabled sensor plugs into your breaker panel and uses current transformers to route your home’s energy data to Amazon cloud servers, which process and analyze usage and events and summarily takes action vis SMS and more as required. “Like Carson the butler in Downton Abbey,” VentureBeat wisely cracked.

“For a limited period, data is stored in the sensor to avoid gaps caused by network interruptions,” Kashani added. “In the cloud, we keep the data at a granular level for a few months and then keep the aggregates for a few years, so you can watch your energy behavior trends.”

Keeping better track of those behavioral trends and patterns is what will help smart housing inch closer to the zero-net future, wherein solar homes generate, monitor and modulate their production and consumption to bring emissions down. But we are closer than we think, thanks to the Internet of Things, said Kashani, which is aiming to put our Big Data to work for us instead of wasting our precious energy and time.

“The next decade is going to see things change as more and more data comes online from the physical world, which opens up a lot of opportunities to optimize the physical world too,” Kashani said. “Some applications of this has already started, such as optimizations of street traffic for congestion and accident reduction, or energy-efficiency programs with sustainability objectives.”

Right now, Energy Aware Tech’s prime objective is to reward its enthusiastic pledgers with their Neurios, which can integrate with other home systems and devices like SmartThings IFTTT, Belkin WeMo, Philips HUE and Nest thermostats.

“Energy Aware started off with a single objective of connecting people to resource conservation,” explained Kashani. “So the next few months will be focused on preparing the hardware and polishing the experience. We really want to hammer our primary-use cases and make sure Neurio will be a great addition to homes as soon as people unbox it in June.”

This article appeared at Solar Energy