I have three smart outlets in my home. They make my bedroom fan and lamps a cinch to toggle on/off. An associated smartphone app even provides usage metrics so I know how much energy I am burning through. Having this information at my fingertips is certainly a neat feature, but at the end of the day, I don’t really know how helpful it actually is. A startup company called Currant has set out to help with this by offering its own Smart Outlet. What makes its offering unique is that it features an AI that provides easy-to-implement suggestions about how to save energy.
Unlike much of its competition, Currant’s Smart Outlet has an elegant and simple look. This is largely due to the company’s partnership with Bould Design, the company responsible for the appearance of the Nest Thermostat.
Instead of offering one plug, Smart Outlet offers two, leapfrogging much of its competition. It plugs directly into a dual AC electrical outlet and redirects it in a 90-degree angle. In my opinion, this approach can help to reduce the clutter sometimes created by cables protruding directly away from the wall. It is worth noting that bulkier outlets may not fit well with this design.
Currant’s purpose for building a Smart Outlet with AI is largely focused on identifying devices that aren’t in use, but are still using energy. As it learns usage habits, the Currant Smart Outlet will recommend some changes to eliminate unnecessary power usage.
“Millions of people grossly underestimate the effect plugged-in but inactive devices have on their power bills,” said Hasty Granbery, founder and CEO of Currant. “Currant tackles this issue by analyzing usage patterns and suggesting simple, customized changes to automatically power off unnecessary devices and cut energy consumption.”
In Currant’s press release it cited that around $19 billion each year is wasted on devices that “are not actively being used.” Reducing this waste of energy is precisely what Smart Outlet’s M.O. is. Also, the company claims that its outlet has the highest safety rating in the industry.
As you might expect, Currant’s Smart Outlet is compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa. If you’re looking for Apple HomeKit support, you will need to opt for one of iDevices Smart Outlets, my preferred choice at the moment.