Did Sense give up?

I’ve had sense for about a year. But after about 8 months - device detection basically gave up. It’s found 1 lighting array, but there are at least 5 others that get used 10+ times per day. There’s also a whole host of other devices - we have an inflatable jump house for the kids in the basement that we use daily - not found. Got a new double oven a month ago and use it a lot, not found. Has Sense moved on to some other mission?

Did Sense find your old oven?

Beyond the lighting array what other devices, if any, is Sense tracking?

Inflatable jump house sounds like fun. Is that basically just an air pump?

Not really. I do think they are adding other detection approaches beyond the “classic” transition-matching based detection. I’m guessing we’ll see the fruits of that in 2022. There were recently some updates to our Sense monitor firmware to collect additional data needed. Here’s a video that hints at what progressive detection can do.

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O man, so many. Computers, Christmas lights (on schedule), roof heating coils, exterior lights that go on everyday at same time, garbage disposal (runs at least 3x/day and has the entire time), sonos system with multiple room setups, bathroom ceiling fans, an exhaust hood for the range, obviously a bunch of other lights, ceiling fans in bedrooms (4), a HVAC fan the runs to push the heat through central vent system, hot water heater, electric space heater, etc.

It did have the old oven, and it found it pretty quick.

@kevin1 i appreciate your comment and how bought in your are on Sense. I’d like to see results. Your statement seems like almost an exact duplicate to the statements made at the end of 2020 and how we should all get excited for 2021 (even in the official tech statement). So far all i’ve seen is tags removed from the power meter…. But no better detection.

@rlavorgn,

You ask a fair question. But the proof is in the pudding, at least for me. This past year, 2021, I did nothing to enhance detection (no new smart plugs), though I did switch out my networking infrastructure which caused a hit to the smartplug reporting in June. But if you look, my “Other” for the month of Dec 2020 was 46.3% of my usage. In December 2021, “Other” was only 18.3%. I think some of the bigger “Others” in 2021, like Sept and Oct. came from Sense missing our Model S charging. Of course, YMMV (your mileage will indeed vary based on your device types and amount of device noise in your house).

I should also point out that that things like the EVs, heaters, Fridges, and even the AC and furnaces are native detections. But the electronics - Yamaha, the main switch, and Office Always On are on smartplugs. And quite honestly, knowing a little electrical engineering, I understand why most electronics, including LED lights, are “detection resistant” so I’m willing to invest in Kasa smartplugs and Hues. One other note - the switch bubbled up into the top 10 usage devices in July because I replaced a bunch of individually powered Apple access points with power over Ethernet APs that use the switch for power.

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I guess it all boils down to that. It seems like your device still finds things and has reduced your “Other” which is great.
I’m just a bit frustrated that mine hasn’t had the same or similar results.
My stats summary:
--------------------------- Other --------Always On
December 2021: ---- 29.3% ------ 26.4%
November 2021: -----18.9% -------36.7%
October 2021:---------21.8%--------45.1%
September 2021:-----14.6%--------52.2%
August 2021:----------28.6%---------17.3%
July 2021:--------------23.5%---------37.2%

So basically Sense gets confused and puts stuff into always on and then i make a concerted effort to turn everything in my house off at the same time once a week and it fixes it (kinda - just moves to “Other”). Then once it seems fexed for awhile I get lazy and it goes right back into Always On.

We have a bunch of lights and things that are on in our home’s 1st floor, then when we go to bed the second floor devices take over (kid’s nightlights, some dark activated hall lights, bedroom phone chargers and such). This all gets lumped into “Always On”

But my top 2 utilization things are consistently OTHER and ALWAYS ON.

In the period mentioned above, I’ve added 15 smart plugs because I got so frustrated with Sense not finding anything.

Anywho - it’s working for you - great. It’s not really working for me - bummer.
I’ve frequently thought “Why doesnt Sense charge a subscription fee?” and I now know the answer. After the first few months many people (like me) would stop using it because it stopped adding value.

At this point, smart plugs do all the heavy lifting on telling me what my devices use. The only real value I get from Sense is it’s Solar data is way better than the app that came with my Panels. So that’s a value-add. As far as the device detection - nearly useless to me at this point because it doesnt find things that in the Other/Always On buckets consistently exceed 50% of my home’s usage.

Side Note: Yes - I fully understand some devices are truly “always on” and so belong in that category and wont be detectable, in my house, that should be about ~250W but the months you see my always on spike up it jumpes to 800-900W even though I haven’t really changed the device profile in my home.

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My Always On is very dependent on when my sone and/or daughter are home - they keep their Gaming PCs turned on. And the Yamaha usage is pretty much tied to my son and his girlfriend being around.

Appreciate the numbers. I guess the other thing is that I don’t write off the smartplugs as Sense not doing it’s job - I understand why Sense cannot detect many devices (or if it did, it would get things totally wrong). Here’s a classic example - content-based variable power usage.

I give Sense credit for pivoting to a hybrid detection model using integrations and DCM. Just wish I had a couple more DCM ports (I have solar like you do, and the realtime solar with total usage id far better than looking at solar plus net usage in separate apps).

Very interesting info here. I’ve just joined the community but have Sense for a year or so. It is very confused. My other is huge and mostly it is my geothermal heat pump. As I watch the power meter it has a very unique ramp up and ramp down, I can identify it easily. I would have thought this would be an easy one for Sense. Nope. It has identified several devices but even worse it is now confusing them. I was seeing a frequent cycling of my water heater and concluded I had a bad thermostat. To confirm I isolated it and even shut off the circuit entirely. Sense still said the water heater was on and cycling. I have no idea what it was but it clearly was not the water heater. Sense has shown several other devices as on when they weren’t and sometimes confuses two identified devices. I turn on device A and Sense says device B just turned on, and vice versa. This is all very frustrating and in the case of the water heater, nearly cost me a service call to fix it. Right now out of a dozen identified devices there are only two I trust, the fridge and the well pump. I’m thinking my best bet is to shut Sense down, reset it and start all over. How do I do a reset? Any other ideas out there?

Better to delete devices that are confused and conflated and let Sense have another try. More data sometimes help clarify. And if you don’t have solar, I would put an extra Flex Sensor (50$ for two) on the geothermal pump so you can use DCM (direct circuit monitoring).

@kevin1 - they really need to allow that middle port to connect to an extension hub that can host multiple DCMs. On the software side - it’s simple.

@GreatBear deleting devices individually is the way to go. Frustrating process, but it’s better than starting all over.

There used to be a way to tell Sense on a particular device that “the device is NOT on” when Sense thought it was, but they removed that and you’ll see posts all over this community forum that mention it because they never got cleaned up - don’t waste your time looking - that doesn’t exist.

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Multiple (>2) DCMs into the single “available” port would be nice, sure, but beyond the obvious need to then have a much bigger and more retro (!) multi-pin plug, one has to assume Sense is already pushing the limits of it’s processing power and bus bandwidth.

Ignoring the issues of inflexible wires in the average electric panel there is a fun way you could, with some masochistic patience, target mystery devices by using a Flex sensor on multiple circuits. For a panel with X circuits you could find your target after N tries where 2^N>=X.

Having multiple DCMs doesn’t solve all issues. e.g. my oil-fired boiler circuit has 5 “devices” on it so ideally I want disaggregation to be happening on that. I have dedicated a CT to that circuit but lazily leave Sense to do it’s thing and disaggregate on the main CTs. At some point I’m going to post some data on that.

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As far as pushing the processing limits - perhaps.

On the physical side - what you’d need is a new device (a port hub) that would plug into the middle port on the Sense. This new device would basically be like a power strip in design, it would have a port for the solar sensor and then many ports for flex sensors. It would report all that data into the Sense with tags on the data e.g. < port1 />, < port2 />, < solar />, etc. and the Sense would then have the data stream more refined into isolated segments that would theoretically reduce noise and make the whole data deciphering process easier. I don’t believe you’d actually have to physically change anything about the existing physical Sense ports, just utilize that middle one differently.

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We believe that expanding integrations will be a better option here for users than developing additional hardware/sensors. Regardless, I’ll share your feedback with our team.

@rlavorgn,
There are analog to digital chips that do what you’re talking about - multiplexed sampling. But even if the chip that Sense was using had more multiplexed inputs available you would need changes to the PCB, case and software to access the additional inputs. Or to build a external hub, one would need control signals and power (probably 4-5 additional wires at a minimum) running to the hub in additional to the existing 4 measurement wires.

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@kevin1 I don’t think so. Pretty sure you can use the current port and digital tagging to use existing hardware and 1 hub that simply adds ports and digital tags (so yes it may need it’s own power) but that’s all you’d need. The rest can be solved on the software side.

@JustinAtSense - basically agreeing with my point there that Sense has moved away from detection. Shifting to integrations (I personally derive less value from that since the one that would be most interesting to me is Google Nest and you’ve already shared that’s not gonna happen because “it’s hard”) but nonetheless I guess the company/product is going a direction very different than most of the advertising/marketing material - which has been discussed in great length in other threads. Bummer for those of us that wanted better detection and aren’t Kevin1 (who’s system seems to be working better than mine)

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That’s not what I meant to convey with that statement. We do think integrations and progressive device detection are going to answer a lot of the feedback that we’ve received so far.

There are multiple ways to improve detection (some of which are happening consistently on our end and might not immediately be visible to users) and at this point we don’t believe the best answer to that problem is to keep adding CT’s.

@rlavorgn
I didn’t bother detailing the forces against an external hub and @kevin1 I believe covered everything.
In theory you could have a powered hub with sufficient processing power (yes, a CPU of some form) and all the associated “injectors” to get your signal in there and craft it for Sense extraction but basically what your doing is building a Sense-like monitor that would probably start costing more than Sense, especially if you want more than 4 CTs on the external “hub”.

As @JustinAtSense points out, in my interpretation, the focus of Sense is simplification on the hardware end. Sense only really gets serious Power when it’s scaled up and ubiquitous and adding to the hardware complexity (and cost) is at odds with that goal. Ideally, after all, only one set of CTs would be needed for all installations.

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Yeah I think we’re all saying something pretty similar. Sense as a company/product is moving away from the core competency of device detection and moving towards integrations that may or may not match individual users’ homes.

I was just saying that an ability to have dedicated circuit monitoring in addition to solar would be nice. And the ability to do that more than once would be really nice. But it’s not gonna happen - I acknowledge that.

I expect the sense in my home will detect 1-2 more things in the next 2-3 years and that will be that. I’ll end up spending more $ with Kasa than with Sense (actually already think that’s the case), and continue to be disappointed and think the Sense advertising is misleading to the extent of nearly outright lies.

O well - womp.

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I think you missed something - There is another type of native detection coming to tackle more device types that original native detection could. It’s called progressive device detection, as @JustinAtSense already related, and the Sense monitor firmware has already been re-architected to enable it (one of the reasons we’re not seeing named tags in the Power Meter anymore).

And as I said, I do wish that Sense had more Flex Sensor ports, but I can understand their reasons for eschewing that approach.

  • Sense technology has been added to Landis and Gyr’s Revelo utility meter, and that meter is on it’s way into maybe 1.7M homes in NY and OH as part of smart meter upgrades. There’s not really an option for extending the hardware with that approach, and we’re talking about far more significant volume than the standalone meters.
  • The biggest home consumers of electricity keep getting smarter about both reporting their power and enabling outside control for power reduction. It’s better for Sense to ride that tailwind.

I understand your concerns and frustration, but I don’t any sign of Sense giving up on basic detection, but I do see them tapping into future trends.

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So their moving to “utility metering”, “control”, and “integrations” - based on your statement and Justin’s. Weird that “detection” isn’t in that list.

As far as progressive device detection - seems like we’ve gone circular. You already mentioned that in this thread. I already responded that we were told that was coming in 2021 in the end of 2020 video. Now you’re telling me about it like it’s a groundbreaking new revelation and that’s why the power meter tags are gone. (i already acknowledged that). Power Meter tags went away in August. My sense hasnt detected anything new since basically August. So man o man am I blow away - this progressive detection is the coolest new name for no result.

Good for Sense - they’re going a new direction working with utility companies instead of consumers. As a consumer… womp.

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