New AI-powered smart device to tackle home energy use

California-based company unveils its Currant Smart Outlet device for consumers to optimize energy consumption


California-based startup Currant, dedicated to developing smart home devices to cut energy consumption, has unveiled its AI-powered Currant Smart Outlet to track energy consumption and recommend ways to reduce energy use.

According to Currant, the product works together with a partner app offered to Android and iOS users and will aim to automatically detect the smart device and offer real-time data on home energy use.

The device comes in two forms, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, which enables energy monitoring and AI-recommended scheduling. The Wi-Fi version works with home assistants, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home and lets you control the device remotely.

The US Energy Information Administration found that in 2017, the average annual electricity consumption in residential areas was 10,399 kilowatt-hours (kWh), an average of 867 kWh per month.

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Currant CEO and founder Hasty Granbery said: "Millions of people grossly underestimate the effect plugged-in but inactive devices have on their power bills.

"Currant tackles this issue by analyzing usage patterns and suggesting simple, customized changes to automatically power off unnecessary devices and cut energy consumption."

In order to develop the smart home device, the company said that it raised $7m in seed funding from investors, including Uncork Capital and K9 Ventures.

Uncork Capital founder Jeff Clavier also commented on the announcement, saying: "We view the Currant Smart Outlet as the first in what will become a long line of energy-saving smart home products.

"Hasty has demonstrated his ability to develop innovative technologies and grow successful startups, and he has formed the ideal team to bring a new breed of practical, intelligent products into consumers' homes that will help reduce global energy consumption," he added.

This follows a trend by other companies looking to use AI to reduce energy consumption. Last week, at Innovation Enterprise's AI and Big Data Innovation Summit in London, Google Cloud shared details of its recently developed AI-based recommendation engine to reduce energy consumption in its data centers by over 40%.

The Currant Smart Outlet product is available to be purchased on Amazon and on their website. The Bluetooth Smart Outlet costs $49.99, and its WiFi Smart Outlet is $59.99.

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