Device Detection Update: Device Updates!


Device Updates

We’re excited to announce a new device detection release that might not make an obvious impact right away, but will improve the quality and accuracy of your Sense-detected devices going forward. Although the Data Science team is always pushing out incremental updates to our device detection models, we have been rather conservative and cautious about making “major” changes to existing devices you see in your app. This has unfortunately led to some devices being conflated, duplicated, or their identification becoming stale and not improving as much as we’d like.

Over the past year, our Data Science team has worked hard to add to the library of devices Sense can identify from the thousands of types and models in peoples’ homes. Hopefully, you’ve seen the results of that effort in faster and more accurate device IDs. We’ll continue to improve on this front and you should see more frequent and improved detection models.

Recently the team has also focused on issues of device model grouping and name/type accuracy. Because of this work, you’ll likely start noticing the following device updates happening. These will be communicated to you on your timeline, and at times via in-app notifications when you open the Sense app. These new types of device updates include:

  • Device Renaming and Re-typing - If your Sense monitor is fairly confident a certain device (such as a Heat or Motor) is a specific device, then it will automatically rename and re-type it for you. This can both help with unknown Motor or Heat devices as well as mis-categorized devices, like a coffee maker that’s really a kettle.
  • Device Auto-Combining - Sense may realize that certain devices (such as a Heat and a Motor) are actually part of a single device (such as a Dishwasher), and automatically combine and rename them for you.
  • Device Removal - At times, Sense may have thought it found a unique device, but after further analysis decided it was not actually a unique device after all. Keeping this device in your Devices list is not helpful for two reasons: (1) You might be wasting your time trying to figure out what it is, and (2) this model could actually prevent updated and more accurate models from running. Now Sense will start removing these unreliably detected devices from your Devices list more frequently, after first alerting you.

In some cases, multiple updates might come at once, such as a removal and a rename, in the case of conflated devices.

As we all know, device detection is not a perfect science yet. However, our Data Science team is excited to make these changes, both to improve your overall Sense device detection experience and to work towards the app being more transparent about what sorts of changes are happening in the background.


Sense incorrectly renamed a device
Frustrations & Questions
Does a discovered device detection improve over time?
Disappointed in device discovery

When will this update be pushed out?



It was released this morning!



This is encouraging (new device detected after months of nothing new) but also confusing due to the mismatched data associated with this device. Can someone reconcile these two pages from this newly discovered Heat 2?



I suppose this would explain why Sense renamed “Heat 5” to “Toaster Oven” in my profile a few days ago. I should get around to testing if it is correct.



Maybe this is due to the new algorithm and then again maybe not. It’s kind of hard to know what this device is when Sense gives all the historical data (image 2) and also suggests that the device hasn’t been on at all during the month of January 2019. Color me confused.



Was this a firmware update? Or something on the backend?



Since @RyanAtSense is on vacation for the week, I’ll answer some questions!

@mattlebaugh - This update was entirely on the backend, no new firmware or client version required.

@mstraka606 - That new Heat 2 looks unrelated to this update. But to answer your question: you are only viewing stats for “this month” on that screenshot on the left, so if you scroll back to previous months my guess is you will see data for that Heat 2 device (which would be the data that the Stats on the right screenshot is coming from). Even though a device might only be detected this month, more often than not we have a few months of training that that led us to detecting that device in the first place, so the historical data is made available to you right away.



Yes I understand the different timeframe…driven the history, it doesn’t make sense to me that the activity would completely stop during the month of Jan 18.



Hi -

I’m guessing that this update renamed my “Lights Basement” to “Light 3” which was not something that I desired. This light circuit has several LED and CFL bulbs on it. I already had “Lights Basement” named correctly, the Make was “Various”, and the Model was “LED & CFL Bulbs”. It was pretty clear that these were already identified as lights. I have another circuit named “Lights Hall Stairs”, with a Make of “Sylvania”, and a Model of “Flood Light Bulbs” which was not renamed.

Why was one light circuit renamed and the other not renamed?

Will this renaming occur again?




This morning, Sense renamed a previously verified Ice Maker in a Miele fridge / freezer as “Light 1”. I changed it back and sent a note to Sense support.



I think the renaming automatically is a bad call. I also had one incorrectly renamed.

Maybe a suggestion to change the device’s name instead of just changing it would be a better route?

If this feature is taking processing power away from identifications it might as well not be a feature.



Maybe just give them a little time to work out any bugs, this has been released for all of 48 hours.



I think it would be nice to have it put the recommended rename devices in a queued list that we can review and approve or reject. This would be in the notifications setting. We can have the option to add comments too. if we approve then it renames the device. If we reject then nothing changes. This would allow the data science team to see the rejects and evaluate data points better like “Our rename is valid but the custom likes their name” compared to “our rename is not valid”



This new feature really loves stoves, eh? I’ve now had 2 different devices renamed to stoves, one of which had a custom name, which you’d think would be a strong signal that it was named right. Also how many people have 4+ stoves in their house? Hopefully this gets dramatically better or turned off.



So should I delete devices that I know are detected wrong? Examples: A 2kw radiant heat loop that Sense detected as 1kw because it detected only 1 leg, and a hot tub where Sense has detected the pump, but never the 4kw heater? Or my west furnace that it thinks is 10w?



Yeah I’m not too happy w/ this auto renaming thing either. It’s renaming devices incorrectly. It would be fine if it just renamed devices that still had the “Sense” generated name when it was detected, but as soon as a customer puts in a custom name, Sense should not override it as the customer is more than 99% of the time correct as they have more than likely verified that it was that device before they named it. Sense should not just overwrite it.



Well I finally got hit with a bad rename. :frowning: My before name is more accurate.



I agree it would have been nice if it had asked for approval before renaming anything. I’ve had it rename my Bidet Water Heater as Aquarium Heater, so I had to go back in and rename it again. And it renamed my Washer to Pump, which is fair enough because it was probably a pump in my washer but Pump is so generic a name it isn’t very useful.

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I got this message yesterday

Espresso Machine Brew Boiler has been renamed to Stove 4.

Sense is pretty sure Espresso Machine Brew Boiler is actually a Stove, so it was renamed for you.

The problem is its wrong, it really is the brew boiler in my espresso machine, but there’s “no you’re wrong” button. This really needs an easy way to undo.