The ever-growing Internet of Things promises a programmable, wifi connected utopia of objects that act on the consumer’s behalf, fulfilling their every need and desire. While innovations such as Jibo and Mellow inch us ever closer to this reality, the individual expense of these smart products will prove a major limitation for most consumers for at least the next five years.
We have recently begun to see devices such as Roost and Range OI which can retrofit older devices with Internet of Things capabilities — providing an excellent stop-gap. Now, Belgian innovation Smappee — and the corresponding Smappee Comfort Plugs — offer consumers an affordable product that can monitor and control multiple devices and appliances using Springwise featured IFTTT — If This Then That.
Smappee is an energy monitor that identifies the usage of individual devices in the home. By flagging up high-use appliances and habits, it then encourages consumers to adjust their behavior to reduce energy waste and make savings. The Smappee kit comes with one Smappee Comfort Plug — additional sets of three can be purchased for USD 40 — which can be controlled via the Smappee app, enabling users to remotely control their devices. For example, by monitoring their itemized electricity use, consumers could see that they have left the oven on and switch it off remotely via smartphone — or check they have already turned it off.
Customers attach the Smappee monitor to the household meter by clamping a sensor around the main power cable. This single device monitors the electrical oscilliations of the entire home and recognizes the individual signatures produced by each of the consumer’s devices. The free app, available on any smartphone or tablet, has a simple and attractive interface where consumers can explore and understand their insights. Smappee launched across Europe and in the US last year and is currently retailing at USD 249 or USD 349 with a solar monitoring panel. You can watch a video below for further examples of potential uses:
What other devices would benefit from retrofitted Internet of things capabilities while consumers await affordable new products?