sense-device-detection
How Does Sense Detect My Devices?
About Sense

The Sense home energy monitor detects devices by identifying their unique electrical signals.

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sense-orange-outlet
Why doesn’t Sense have a training mode?
App Features

If I tell you that I like my coffee with lots of milk but no sugar, you understand this immediately and no repetition of my preference is required. So why can’t Sense learn instantaneously when shown your garage-door opener in operation?

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Help Train Sense by Renaming Devices
App Features

Ever had an unnamed device pop up in your app? This means we know that something is running, but we don’t know what it is. Read on to learn how you can help us out by renaming those devices.

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sense-ceo-mike-phillips
November Update from Mike
News

Hi everyone,

We wanted to give you an update on everything that’s been happening since we started shipping at volume and since the close of our Series A financing announced in September. Please read on for information about shipping status, what we’re working on now, and how you can help improve Sense.

As you may know, we significantly scaled up our manufacturing volumes over the summer in response to a much larger than anticipated demand from all of you (thank you!!). We are up to date with shipping and are presently shipping out orders that were promised for November delivery.

Of course, with so many Sense monitors now out in the field, we’ve been heads down scaling all the other aspects of production as well — from our systems architecture (you may have seen we had an outage a few weeks ago), to device detection, to customer support. The new financing  has allowed us to grow our team — we now have 25 people and are continuing to hire as quickly as possible.

Now that we are overcoming these growing pains, we want to give you a look at what’s ahead.

What we’re working on

Solar compatibility for Android. As promised, we launched our new solar-compatible Android app in October. The solar-compatible Sense allows you to see both your home’s solar generation and energy use in one glance.

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Device detection — more, better, faster. It turns out you guys have a ton of different appliances and devices in your homes! We’ve more than doubled the size of our data science team and are working hard on improving both the reliability and breadth of device detection.

In order to scale, we launched a bunch of new updates to device detection in August. These updates caused a few issues, which the team is currently addressing:

  • Device detection takes a while: We understand that you’d like us to speed this up, but unfortunately it does take a while. Sense needs to see the device and also see competing devices working in your home before being confident enough to show them in the application. You will see our device coverage improve both as Sense learns about your home and as we expand our models based on all the devices we are now seeing across all Sense homes — this is the main focus of our expanding data science team!
  • Device naming issues: We’ve had a number of bugs around device naming, some device names disappeared after you named them, for example. This should now be resolved, so please send feedback in the app if you still see this sort of thing happening.
  • One device shows up as two components: We had some issues where 240V devices were not being properly resolved across the two phases. We think these are mostly under control now, but will continue to improve in the coming weeks.

Automated signal check. Some of the issues we’ve encountered in the field are due to setup errors in the installation process. These can slow down or even prevent device detection and also result in negative or zero wattage being reported in the application. We’ve added more automated checks to detect these errors so that we can proactively alert you when they happen. In many cases, we are able to fix them by updating configurations automatically, so you will not need to make any changes. If you still see an issue, please contact support.

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Status screen. We understand that upon installation you’re keen to see a bunch of device bubbles and the fact that it takes awhile is disconcerting. We’ve now launched a Status Screen under Settings so that you can track the progress of device detection. The status page will also let you know the status of the automated signal checks (described above).

Web version of Sense app. We’ve received many requests for a web-version of our app. We’re working on building this now, and hope to have an early test version out by Q1 next year. More details to follow.

How you can help


We recently launched an in-app survey to get your feedback on how we’re doing and what we should improve. You can see for yourself the results of that survey below, but it’s very clear to us that you want to train Sense!!

Unfortunately, Sense needs to see your devices working in their natural mode to learn about your house, so “training” Sense doesn’t help in the way you think it might. In addition to seeing lots of examples devices in their normal operating modes, Sense needs to see the behavior of other devices in your home, so as not confuse one device with another. You can read more about that here and here.

Here’s how you can help us:

  • Send us in-app feedback when we’re wrong about a device.
  • Track down and rename your “unnamed” devices. Here’s how.

In addition to continued work across the range of devices we see, we are also launching some new efforts around targeted device types. For this, we will be periodically asking all of you for specific types of help. We’ll be doing this over an increasing set of devices (and will soon create a survey to get your vote on what to work on next!).

sense-ev-chargerToday, we are starting a targeted trial of this with Electric Vehicle Chargers. So, if you charge your EV at home, please help us improve device detection by answering the quick survey here.

We are very grateful and excited about all the feedback you’ve been emailing us. We will continue to work on features so that you can help improve Sense!

Thank you and happy sensing,

Mike

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Why is Sense taking a while to detect my devices?
About Sense

Wondering why you’ve still got a big “unknown” bubble floating around on your app? Here’s some insight into how we learn to recognize your devices, and why device detection takes some time.

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Kitchen oven_398716021
Why Sense Samples at High Frequency: Your Oven vs. Your Dryer
Data Science

Learn why we record data at such high frequency (millions of samples per second, in fact).

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sense-team
Meet the new faces at Sense
About Sense, News

With almost 20 people squeezing into our little Cambridge office we’re still rapidly hiring to keep up with the demands of scaling. Say hello to the newest additions to the Sense team – Tadashi, Matt, Mary, Jonah, Rayshawn and Alex.

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sense-monitor
Why Can’t I Train Sense?
About Sense, App Features, Data Science

Many of you have asked us if you can’t help speed up this process by manually identifying devices. Here, we’ll explain the data science behind our approach, and why training needs to be driven by data, rather than taught by people.

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teampic
Sense News: Series A, Android, Solar, and Product video!
News

We’re excited to announce that we’ve closed a $14M Series A from Shell Technology Ventures and Energy Impact Partners in addition to our previous seed investors. We wanted to extend a big thank you to our team of enthusiastic early adopters.

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sense - emilie with plane
Meet Emilie Phillips – Our Newest Data Scientist
About Sense

An introduction to Emilie Phillips – our newest data scientist at Sense – and her forays into the worlds of robotics, aviation and home energy.

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interns at sense
Interns at Sense
About Sense

Our interns – Jennifer, Rachel & Brandon – are finishing up their six month co-ops here at Sense, and have provided some insight on their experience.

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energy consumption map
Red vs blue states: Do politics affect energy consumption?
Data Science

Since energy efficiency is one of our primary goals at Sense, we are always looking for new ways to understand the factors that promote such efficiency. And conversely, we’d like to understand some of the drivers behind high energy consumption.

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about data science jobs
What Are Data Science Jobs Like?
Data Science

Data science is a hot field right now, so you can find plenty of articles about “how to become a data scientist,” but what does a job in data science mean? How do data science jobs differ from company to company? How high up the ladder can a data scientist climb?

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wind farm
5 Clever New Green Technologies
News

Here are some really neat green technologies we’ve come across lately that have injected a spark of optimism into our day’s news.

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light bulb, device detection, sense, electrical, energy
Light Bulb Moment
Data Science

A common question for the data science team is “why is it so hard to detect light bulbs?” The simple answer is that light bulbs don’t draw a lot of power, making their electrical signatures often indistinguishable from noise and difficult to identify.

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GRID
How is 3AM Electricity Different from 6PM Electricity?
Electricity Basics

Operators of the grid have to anticipate and respond to demand by adjusting the amount of electricity purchased and generated on a minute-by-minute basis.

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Power Board Edit_
Solving Hardware Problems
Hardware

Our Senior Hardware Engineer illustrates one of the many challenges involved in building hardware designed to live inside the home’s electric panel.

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We’re Looking for Failures (…in Your Appliances)
Data Science

Researchers think that it should be possible to use data science to detect when a device is failing to work properly. We can already use data science to detect a few device failures. Read on to learn how we do it.

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Sense home energy monitor hardware
Video: A Look at the Lab
About Sense, Hardware

Our hardware team toils away in the lab to make sure the Sense hardware is top-notch. Watch to take a look at the gadgets and gizmos that put Sense through its paces.

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sense-talking-house
What’s Coming from Sense
News

Here’s what we have going on at Sense. Learn about our plans for solar, Android, shipping, and device discovery improvements.

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A Device Discovery Mystery
Data Science

Can you figure out what the mystery electrical signature is? Hint: we were celebrating a birthday.

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Sense app view kilowatt hours
App Feature: View Kilowatt-Hours
App Features

Your Sense app comes with a bunch of features you may not know about. Read on to learn how to get kilowatt-hour information so you can de-mystify your electric bill.

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AlphaGo deep learning
Is “Deep Learning” More Shallow Than We Think?
Data Science

Deep Learning has earned a lot of hype since Google’s AlphaGo program beat a Go world champion, but is it really such a huge breakthrough? Our Data Scientist Etienne argues that it may not be.

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Electricity Grid
Where Does Electricity Come From?
Electricity Basics

Learn about electricity and where it comes from. We’ll give you a bit of history, and then explain how electricity makes it’s way from a power plant to your toaster.

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etienne blog video title
Video: Our Data Scientist IDs Devices in Real Time
Data Science

Watch one of our data scientists, Etienne, trace the electrical signals from an example house and show you how he identifies them as devices, even when signals from multiple devices overlap.

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sense-solar
Sense Solar: Home Energy & Solar Production in a Single Glance
News

We are pleased to announce that Sense Solar is now available for pre-order. Through the Sense Solar app you will be able to see your home energy usage and your solar production all in one view.

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sense-installation
Wondering about the Sense install process? Survey says it’s fast and easy.
About Sense

Read the results of our installation survey. Sense usually takes less than 30 minutes to install. Sense customers overwhelmingly find the installation process very straightforward.

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android bubbles official
Meet the Android Team!
About Sense

While you patiently wait for the app to be perfected, take a minute to learn about our Android developers.

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current sensors
What is a Current Transformer?
About Sense

Learn how Sense uses CTs to measure electrical current and take a detour into the physics of electromagnetism.

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bricking cloud devices
If Your Company Shuts Down, Will My Sense Stop Working?
About Sense

The recent news about cloud-based Revolv shutting down and leaving users in the dust has led to folks asking about what might happen to their cloud-based Sense monitors if Sense the company closes. Here’s what we have to say.

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magnetron microwave electrical use
Spotting a Microwave Oven in the Wild
Data Science

See behind the curtain as one of our esteemed data scientists discusses how microwaves work, and how he knows when a mystery electrical signal is a microwave.

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I have two of the same device. Will Sense know the difference?
About Sense

We’re frequently asked whether Sense can tell the difference between two similar devices. Learn about Sense’s approach to handling similar devices in a home. Find out how it works and what makes it challenging.

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sense-app-demo
Sense App Demo Video
About Sense

A lot of people have been asking for more details about the Sense app, so we put together this quick video to give you a better sense (pardon the pun,) of the app interface and features.

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TV cable box dvd player standby power
What is “Always On” Power?
Electricity Basics

The Always On bubble is a regular feature of your Sense app, but what does it mean? We explain what Always On power is, which devices use the most power even when you think they’re turned off, and what you can do about it.

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Early Sense Home Energy Monitor
The Story Behind Sense
About Sense

Our CEO Mike writes about Sense’s early days: what inspired Sense, the initial experimentation, what made Sense such a challenge to develop, and how the team’s backgrounds in speech recognition helped overcome those challenges.

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Sense electricity monitor solar
Solar Support Please!
About Sense

One of our most popular requests is to have the Sense home energy monitor work for houses with solar power. This is a high priority for us as well. Read about our plans for solar functionality in the future.

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electrical signal dishwasher
How is Speech Recognition Similar to Disaggregation?
Data Science

Many members of the Sense team come from a speech recognition background… but it’s not actually as different from energy monitoring as you might think.

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Dishwasher
Dishwasher Detection: A Look Inside Your Dishwasher
Data Science

We’ve learned a lot about dishwashers while developing Sense. Our resident dishwasher expert shares some facts you may not have known about dishwashers, and about how we sense them.

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Sense energy monitoring app
Software Updates: February
Software Updates

We’ve been working hard for months on a hefty software update. Here are some of the features that will be in the updated Sense app, from faster app speeds to a totally revamped power meter.

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Lower your electric bill
What is a “Watt” Anyway?
Electricity Basics

Your Sense app speaks in the language of watts. But what is a watt? How many watts are too many? Why do we use watts for the Sense app? Why do we use them even though electric bills show “kilowatt-hours” instead of watts?

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Sense energy monitor installation
What is Split-Phase Power?
Electricity Basics

Often we’re asked how Sense handles houses that work on a “two-phase” or “split-phase” system. Sense can handle it just fine, and these systems sometimes even help us detect devices more easily. Read on to learn more.

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Photo Credit: Community Housing Works
5 Renewable Energy News Stories We’re Excited About
News

We pay a lot of attention to news stories about energy here at Sense. Here are 5 renewable energy stories from around the world that we think are really interesting, and have been topics of water cooler discussion.

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