At the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, energy monitoring morphed into whole-home monitoring. But not for the latest entry into the market, FutureDash’s EnergyBuddy, which is starting out squarely in the energy space.
EnergyBuddy, which launched at CES, takes a page out of many other playbooks. It is a gateway that has a light on top to show you how you’re performing based on whatever criteria you choose: money spent, kilowatts used, etc. Besides a glowing gateway, it also comes with the requisite mobile apps, clamps to attach to your meter (if it’s not smart) and smart plugs.
The home package comes in at less than $100, which makes it very competitive against similar offerings. It is also unique that it runs on a gateway, not completely in the cloud, which FutureDash says offers a level of security most of its competitors cannot.
FutureDash’s GridLock technology is locked in the gateway, rather then being sent directly to the cloud. Historical data is then encrypted to be stored in the cloud. “That is a very sensitive data stream,” said Kevin Strong, CEO of FutureDash. “If you can tap into that, it’s essentially a form of surveillance.” Only the user has access to the data and not even FutureDash can access it. Consumers, however, can share the data with third parties if they want.
Now that the coming-out party is over, the real work begins. Like many others in the space, FutureDash is looking to license the software to original equipment manufacturers, something that Power People, Modlet and others are also working on. There will also be a direct offering to consumers.
The company is based in Laguna Beach, Calif., but like its competitors, it has eyes for the global market, especially competitive Australia and the U.K.
There is no smart thermostat yet, but it could be coming as part of the package.
The price is relatively low and the focus on security is refreshing, but at first glance, it is unclear if EnergyBuddy will be able to shine in a packed marketplace.