Currant harnesses AI for energy-saving device

Startup Currant has introduced an “AI-powered” smart outlet intended to track energy consumption.

The California-based company wants to tackle energy wastage and believes its Currant Smart Outlet device is the answer when it comes to helping homeowners optimise consumption.

Working in conjunction with the relevant iOS or Android app, Currant’s outlet comes in either a Bluetooth or WiFi-powered model and is designed to be “automatically” detect plugged-in devices and provide real-time data on home energy use and AI-recommended scheduling.

What exactly does this “AI-recommended scheduling” consist of? Well, the smart outlet is programmed to record usage stats and send them to the accompanying Currant app to map power usage in real time (organised by hour, day, month, and year) and then personalise recommendations to users (i.e. suggesting turning off certain devices when not in use).

The WiFi version also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to let users control the device (i.e. turn it on or off) without having to move from the living room sofa.

Styled by the team behind the Nest thermostat, its design incorporates a reflective surface, two independently-controlled outlets and a switchable plate to keep cables out of sight.

“Millions of people grossly underestimate the effect plugged-in but inactive devices have on their power bills,” commented Hasty Granbery, founder and CEO of Currant (and formerly director of software engineering at PayPal).

He adds: “Currant tackles this issue by analysing usage patterns and suggesting simple, customised changes to automatically power off unnecessary devices and cut energy consumption.”

Currant further affirms what he believes separates Currant from the rest is its ability to detect appliances that draw a low amount of power over a significant period of time. It’s staking a claim to having the highest safety ratings of any smart outlet too.

The concept for the device came to fruition after raising $7 million (€6.1 million) in seed funding from investors including Uncork Capital and K9 Ventures.

Currant’s WiFi and Bluetooth outlets are just available in the US for now, and fall into the sub-$100 category.