Sense Blog
Mike CEO

November Update from Mike

An update on device detection, new features and the company from our CEO, Mike Phillips.

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.

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.

sense-status-screen

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. If you charge your EV at home, you may see it appear in your detected devices soon!

 

 

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