New: Network Device Identification



Hi everyone -

Today we released updates to both our iPhone and Android apps. There’s a few things included in this update, but I wanted to bring your attention to the biggest part of the update: a new “Network Device Identification” opt-in feature.

You can enable this feature in the app (once you have the new app update) under Settings -> Data Sources. Enabling this feature allows Sense to listen for broadcast events on your local WiFi network to help speed up and improve device detection! Think about it as a way for Sense to listen to more of your devices talking. This information will then allow our data science team to have more information to go on, and use it to correlate with the existing energy signals the monitor is tracking. This will help Sense learn about devices such as media consoles (e.g. AppleTV, Roku), game consoles (e.g. Xbox, Playstation), printers, etc. You can read more details about this feature here:

As mentioned, this is entirely opt-in. The broadcast messages will only be used for device detection and no traffic or personal information will be saved or collected. The more users that turn this on, the more data our data science team will have… so if you are up to it, please enable this feature!

Thank you, and let us know if you have any questions.

Hilario Coimbra
Product Manager @ Sense



Very cool idea. This is literally thinking outside the box to improve device detection. :grinning:


Sounds like this could also help detect a smart TV.:thumbsup:


I have a tri-band Netgear router with Sense on the 2.4 GHz band. My TV’s share one of my 5 GHz bands. Guess it won’t find the TV’s anytime soon using the Network Detection.


As long as they are on the same network segment and you don’t have the devices isolated in your AP settings, broadcasts will be heard by all devices.


I have my sense on my guest network that does not allow users on the network to gain access to settings in my wifi router. Will this handicap me in detecting devices?


Yes, it will only see devices on the same network.You could put all your IoT devices on the guest network along with the Sense, but it still leaves your computers undetectable. They could mitigate this by giving you a program to load on your computer sending info when it turns on and off.


I can’t get 1.7 from the Google Play store. The update has not come through automatically (though all the others have) and I have uninstalled and reinstalled to be sure. I checked on my phone and my tablet. Please advise.


Hi @alan - the Sense iOS and Android app version numbers don’t match. While iOS is 1.7, Android is 1.4. So as long as you have 1.4 for Android you should see the ‘Data Sources’ option under ‘Settings’.


Ah, yes. I saw on the Sense Monitor screen that there were 18 devices detected on the network but no way to turn it off or on, but didn’t look around in the app since the version number was below 1.7. With your clarification, I immediately found the setting one screen back then under Data Sources. =) Thanks!


Can anyone speak to any devices, or can sense speak to which devices, are detected.

We have a number of devices, Xbox ones, TV’s etc, all linked via network cable or wireless and have seen nothing appear via sense in the past mont.

Thanks, Mike


Hi Mike,
The only networked device type I’ve seen detected by Sense are my printers. What’s interesting is that all three of them show up as the same detected device, presumably because they have similar power use signatures when printing. What’s funny is that all three are very different types of printers:

  • Epson inkjet
  • Brother B&W laser printer
  • HP color printer
    There’s also a chance that Sense uses Bonjour / mDNS broadcasts to identify printer devices and simply looks for a stream of packets sent to any of the printer IP addresses as a clue to the start of a printing cycle…

It would be interesting to know…


On the printer detection, I think @Howard had a printer identified way before network detection rolled out.

Your comment did remind me of something a Sense rep promised in a reddit thread a bit ago:

A promise met with skepticism on my part - we’ll see if things are any better in a year.


My original unit picked up a pair of Brother laser printers perfectly. My new one so far has picked up one but not the other. The only issue I have is that sometimes it tells me the printer is running when the electric oven is running that it has yet to recognize.


I have to correct my statement. The Sense picked up my Epson inkjet and Brother laser printer as the same Laser Printer device. But the new HP color is not detected yet. And I do seem to remember the Epson being detected before Network Detection.


Thanks so far. I’ve had zero so far. One would hope they’re using both additional information when items start as well as continuous info from Bonjour.


Hi Hilario, Ben,

I’ve had the network identification feature on for a few weeks now, but no network devices have been detected.

Here’s a list of the possible devices:
1 x Roku
5 x laptops
3 x printers 2xHP, 1xEpson
1 x Chrome cast
1 x Network load balancer (for redundant internet connections)
3 x Managed network switches
5 x IP cameras
1 x Wireless access point

From Windows 10 on the same Wifi network as Sense I can see at least 11 devices in Explorer’s network view.

Running Wireshark, I can see plenty of ARP and SSDP traffic.

Many of these devices are always on, but I’m looking to change that.

QUESTION: Will sense only show a device that it has detected with ARP or SSDP if it is also able to attribute power consumption to it? Or will devices detected with ARP and SSDP show up in a list somewhere even if the current power consumption is unknown – doing this would give a little more confidence that it is working.

If you think that Sense should have detected some devices through ARP or SSDP I’d be happy to send you a Wireshark capture of ARP or SSDP traffic.


Hey Mark,

Thanks for enabling network device identification on your monitor! At the moment, enabling NDI will not immediately impact the devices your Sense detects. It is, however, giving our data science team incredibly useful data in order to train new detection models and thus improve detection around network connected devices in the future. Specifically, new detection algorithms for certain smart TVs and game consoles are right around the corner, thanks to this data.

Going forward, we will continue to leverage this data to train additional device detectors, including for several of the devices that you listed!


I looked back at the announcement re network devices enablement. At the time I rushed to configure that and I have been very disappointed not to see a single device detected. Now I hear that done was to provide data to your engineers, not to provide information to me.

My home has over 60 electric devices, some using huge amounts of power. Only a tiny handful of those have been detected, not including things like washer, electric dryer, stovetop, ovens, etc. I also am a software professional working from home, and I’ll bet we have 20+ network devices at any one time…with ZERO detection so far…now I know why. Thanks Ben.

My BIGGEST problem with Sense is the gap between what’s communicated (or implied) and the reality. This is yet another case. Sense is really frustrating its customers by not communicating accurately and completely. If the networking announcement has said something like “we are beginning work on a future feature that we think is going to be exciting and it would be very helpful if you could configure network detection on your system to provide us data for our algorithm development…we will let you know when that feature starts to roll out”, that would have eliminated lots of confusion and…frankly…anger with Sense.