Device Detection FAQ



Why Sense needs time to detect device

Sense detects fluctuations in electrical energy use and our software utilizes machine learning to distinguish one appliance from another. The nature of machine learning requires a lot of data before accurate models can be formed which is why it takes time for device detection to improve. Sense needs to see your devices in its typical operating context in order to accurately identify them. Our data science team is constantly working to confirm and push out our device models to ensure they will take into account the variation between home to home, and even the same device running at different times.

###I can see the device’s graph when I turn it on and off, why can’t I tag it?
Device detection is very much like trying to single out one person’s voice while 30 people are talking at the same time. We might hear the gist of what they’re saying, but we may not know what they sound like when they’re the only one speaking. Here’s a video of one of our data scientists demonstrating how electrical signals are identified. Feel free to check out our relevant blog article: Why Can’t I Train Sense?

###How often do new devices get pushed?
Device detection updates are pushed automatically, and will vary from home to home based on what it has been learning. Sense needs to see many repetitions of a device working in your home before we can model it, and we’d only want to show you what we’re sure of.

###Relevant blog articles



Please go into detail on house-specific and house-independent Machine Learning model development as documented in your patents.


I get that we shouldn’t “train” sense, but realistically I think this option would go a long way in helping it learn devices more quickly. If at the very least Sense had an initial questionnaire that included some basic questions (electric/gas heater, electric/gas water heater, number of garage door openers, electric/gas range) this could greatly reduce the number of unknowns that Sense has to figure out on it’s own.

Along those same lines, what about having the Sense app immediately prompt questions when it detects something different. There are only a few inputs sense can use to narrow these things down so what’s wrong with a little human input in order to speed things up a bit? A good example is that when I turn on the lights in my living room (four incandescent bulbs) I can literally see the watts jump on the app. "Why can’t the app bring up a notification like “we saw something change did you turn something on/off?” You can then have a drop down of common things - lights, dishwasher, washer, etc. - and then an input or dropdown list of rooms (perhaps that’s part of the initial questionnaire… name your rooms). While it doesn’t have to be the final say, you can certainly use the inputs to help the algorithm narrow it down.

Just a few thoughts…


Thanks for the suggestion, David! We’re definitely looking at more ways that users can be involved in the device detection process. We recently implemented a feature that gives users the ability to mark a device as ‘not on’ when it incorrectly appears on, and we are planning on adding additional features in this vein.


Oooh, ‘not on’ sounds interesting. Right now I’m ‘Delete this Device’ when something never comes on or is obviously wrong. Right now I have an ‘Unnamed motor’ that came on for 14 secs at 1.5 amps randomly (about 6 times), starting at 2 am thru 8 am+, and only happened for one day. I couldn’t figure it out even though I was looking for it when it came on, I think I will delete this ‘find’.


@BenAtSense, delete device is something that needs to be added… I’ve got a device that has no history, but is “identified.”


Select your device, scroll to the bottom of the data page, click “report a problem.” The first option will be to “delete this device.” :wink:


Thanks @NJHaley!