Track your home's electricity with Neurio

October 31, 2013 9:55 AM PDT / Updated: October 31, 2013 9:55 AM PDT
Neurio

Neurio Home Intelligence is a technology that helps you understand your energy usage and automate your home appliances. It's like a Belkin WeMo Insight Switchfor your entire home. It started as a university project, and led to the creation of Vancouver-based startup Energy Aware Technology Inc. Then the team took their concept to Kickstarter, launching a campaign on October 16. The funding period doesn't end until November 15, but backers have already pledged well over its original $95,000 (CAD) goal. So, with over $125,000 pledged thus far, I don't think we've heard the last from Neurio.

Neurio

Neurio is comprised of three major parts: the sensor, the cloud, and Wattson, the Neurio app. There's also an optional part called Trigger for coders and DIYers extraordinaire.

Sensor

Counter to the Belkin WeMo Insight Switch, which plugs into specific appliances a la carte, you install the Neurio sensor in your breaker panel. That way, you can monitor your electricity on a much larger scale. The sensor relies on current transformers to measure your usage and it then sends you all the details via Wi-Fi.
Neurio

It can log up to one year of usage info and it's equipped with a feature that protects your data when you lose power or make firmware upgrades. That's a lot of information, given that the sensor takes a new measurement every second. And, if you have solar panels, Neurio knows the difference between power running to and from the grid.

Cloud

Neurio's cloud service receives data captured by the sensor every minute. The database then stores the info and analyzes it in detail to learn about your usage patterns. As it learns about your consumption, it can differentiate among your various appliances and know what each one is doing at any given time. Using algorithms, it can estimate your energy usage and pinpoint anomalies. Don't know that your laundry cycle just finished? Neurio can tell you via text.

The team is also working on partnering with SmartThings and IFTTT. Integrating with those services allows you to use Neurio as a home automation hub as well as a consumption tracker. Do you have a Nest thermostat, Philips HUE, or Belkin WeMo device? You can manage and operate them with Neurio's app.

Neurio

Wattson

This is Neurio's energy tracking app. It helps you itemize your energy bill by appliance so you can see how much it costs to run laundry cycles, cook dinner, and more. You can even see your consumption in real-time -- so, if you want to wander around the house and shut appliances on and off, you can observe the changes instantly. Both Android and iOS versions of Wattson are in the works for on-the-go energy monitoring.
Neurio

Unfortunately, it can't detect small changes like turning on a hair dryer or a lamp. According to Neurio, your large appliances account for more than 80 percent of the consumption in your home. And that's where the Neurio algorithms shine -- monitoring large appliances that use loads of energy on a daily basis.

Trigger

This is an optional open-source application for Raspberry Pi and Android. In other words, if messing around with IFTTT isn't enough DIY for you, Trigger allows for more advanced customization. With Trigger, you can get a steady flow of power info straight from the sensor. It talks with the sensor every second and can spot smaller appliances in real-time as well as larger ones.

Conclusion

Neurio offers potentially money-saving consumption information and acts as a home automation hub. Since the Kickstarter campaign is already fully funded, backers are expected to receive their units in April 2014. After the funding period ends, the price will go from $129 to $229. So, if you're interested, check out Neurio now.

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Where to Buy

Energy Aware Neurio: Home Intelligence

Part Number: CNETneurio

MSRP: $95.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

About The Author

Megan writes reviews in CNET's Louisville, KY office.