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Currant’s smart outlet uses AI to save home energy bills

Currant’s smart outlet uses AI to save home energy bills
Currant, a California-based startup, has introduced its first product - a smart outlet which aims to save home energy consumption with artificial intelligence (AI).

The device has two independently-controlled outlets and a plate to switch directions to keeping cords out of the way. As home devices are connected to the smart outlet, it will record usage statistics and send the data for AI-based analysis in real-time.

The companion mobile app will display graphics about energy consumption and cost by hour, day, month or year. It can also suggest actions to take to save home utility bills, such as cutting power to a set-top box when the TV isn’t on.

The smart outlet also supports voice control for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, allowing users to turn on or off connected devices with their voice.

The setup process is easy. When homeowners plug in the smart outlet and connect to the app, the app will automatically detects the device and starts displaying real-time power usage data.

Founded by Hasty Granbery, PayPal’s former director of software engineering, Currant claims its smart outlet is more accurate than similar products in the market, since it can identify devices that use a low amount of power over a long period of time.

The company is also confident that the product design stands out from other competitors, due to the fact it was created by the Nest Thermostat design team Bould Design.

With former executives from Apple, PayPal, Jawbone and Flextronics, Currant has raised US$7 million in seed funding, led by Uncork Capital and K9 Ventures.

“Millions of people grossly underestimate the effect plugged-in but inactive devices have on their power bills,” said Granbery, founder and CEO of Currant, in a statement. “Currant tackles this issue by analyzing usage patterns and suggesting simple, customized changes to automatically power off unnecessary devices and cut energy consumption.”

The Currant Smart Outlet is available now - the Bluetooth version for US$49.99 and the Wi-Fi version for US$59.99. Only the Wi-Fi version enables Alexa and Google Assistant voice control.

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