Today I added a new entry to my home automation proof of concepts. The goal of this series is to evaluate, in the long run, several technologies we may be interested using in the future. As you may recall, the previous one is about switchable windows. Today, I had the Sense ( installed. The device goes into the house’s electric panel and connects via Wi-Fi to the network. It requires a dedicated 240 volts breaker to power the device and to measure the voltage on both delivery cables of the electrical panel (using the clamps sensors).

Once installed – by an electrician –, you can monitor in real-time the power consumption of your household. Behind the scene, Sense is using models to identify the devices contributing to the power consumption based upon their power draw and electrical noises. It means for example, that a 1500 Watts power draw can be, upon recognition, partially attributed to the microwave or the garage door opener!

At the beginning – where we stand today – sense doesn’t know anything and doesn’t recognize any of our devices. It is supposed to take a few days. Let’s see. This data may help us save money identifying the machines contributing to the phantom load or left switched on. I am sure we have plenty.

But where I have high hopes for sense is in the home automation arena. Indeed, Sense is able – in fine – to tell that the oven has started or the garage door opener or the laser printer is operating. This is premium information to feed your automation rules! And no need to buy a plethora of sensors, many of them don’t exist. Of course, it will take time to reach such an X-ray vision, but if successful, sense can become a core sensor of any home automation. Stay tuned!