It would be no surprise to the majority of CleanTechnica readers that I am a huge fan of crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. They provide people and companies who have great ideas a platform on which to sell their ideas to the wider global market.
Crowdfunding has been a real boon for energy-saving consumer technologies. WiFi-enabled light bulbs and home energy monitoring systems have been a real hit, funding relatively quickly and often excessively overfunding.
The latest campaign belongs to Spanish company Wattio, founded by Patxi Echeveste, which is promising the capability of converting your own home into a Smart Home.
Wattio believes that its product — the Wattio SmartHome 360º — will be able to save you $130 in electricity and $300 in heating each year, and allow you to control your home remotely and locally.
Though there are some difficulties in interpreting the Echeveste’s accent at times, the video below includes a fantastic promotional video that outlines exactly what Wattio is hoping to achieve.
The Wattio SmartHome system is based around a few gadgets: the Gate, Thermic, Bat, and Pod.
Each gadget plays a specific part in the overall SmartHome system, which will allow users to save energy by remotely controlling and automatically scheduling appliances, providing statistics and comparisons on your home’s energy usage, and providing you with the benefits of being able to turn your heating on before you come home, thus simulating a lived-in house if you’re late home from work or away on holiday.
Wattio describe the Gate as “an innovation in the market” that allows users the option to view their power consumption, access their appliances throughout the house, check the temperature outside, and schedule appliances.
The silent video below shows just how useful the Gate will be for owners of the Wattio SmartHome 360º system.
Replacing your old thermostat, the Thermic will allow you to control and monitor your home temperature wherever you are — whether in the kitchen with the Gate or about to leave work by way of your computer, tablet, or smart-phone.
The Bat is fascinating, as it can be placed inside your switchbox/control box and it will measure the consumption of up to three circuits, compare the use of your home with others, and provide you with alerts if something unusual happens — like a blackout. Completely free of tools for installation, the Bat is central to the Wattio SmartHome 360º system.
The simplest of all — simply plug into your power sockets and plug your appliances into it. It will provide you with monitoring of your appliances, the ability to turn them on and off from the Gate or your smartphone, tablet, or computer, and the ability to schedule their activity.
The Wattio SmartHome 360º also bills itself as half the price of comparable smart home systems. Being a part of Wattio’s Indiegogo campaign will allow backers the chance to get in earlier than anyone else and get a good price while doing it. With 11 days left, they’re just above a third of the way to their goal, which is somewhat disappointing when compared to previous Indiegogo and Kickstarter campaigns.
Wattio is following some pretty impressive crowdfunded technologies. The LIFX WiFi-enabled light bulb not only funded incredibly quickly, but overfunded massively. The original campaign was listed as seeking $100,000 but by the time the month-long campaign ended, the company had raised $1,314,542.
By means of a simple light bulb with WiFi, users were able to control their home lighting systems from anywhere with a smartphone or tablet. Users can control not only the intensity of the light and when it comes on, but also the colour that the bulb emits.
Another crowdfunded campaign that didn’t do as well as LIFX (but then again, only Veronica Mars has got the cache to beat LIFX) was RE-volv. “A people-powered movement to bring solar energy to every community,” RE-volv overfunded by 50%, allowing the non-profit organisation to invest in local solar energy projects.
The Solar Seed Fund is described as a “revolving fund” which pays for solar installations on community centres like schools and non-profits, which then pay RE-volv back over time using the money they saved on their electricity bill. That money is paid back into the Solar Seed Fund to fund more installations and…. As you can imagine, it’s a brilliant model that will hopefully manage to sustain many more solar installations.
Wattio has a ways to go if it is to fully fund, and it isn’t quite clear what would happen to the company if it doesn’t reach its Indiegogo target. Some companies use crowdfunding websites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter as a means to supplement existing capital-driven businesses, while others are wholly reliant upon funding derived from a successful campaign. While Wattio does appear to be a semi-independent company without the backing of a crowdfunded campaign, here’s hoping that it is able to reach its goal in the 11 or so days it has left.
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