Make The Sense Monitor Replaceable

So when I purchase a product I always tend to look at the future of that product. The reason I don’t have a smart-things hub is because you can’t upgrade. If you knew that I have over 200 zigbee and zwave devices that control every aspect of my house you would understand the concern. Tech dies, gets outdated and needs to be replaced.

I think one of the aspects of Sense that concern me and drive me to ask why am I participating in the tech and forum, is the thought that one day it could all disappear (as in the data, not the company). Could all the time and effort configuring always on devices, putting in my rates, listing my appliances and having my family ask why in the world I’m under the counter looking for the model number of the cooktop be washed away in a defect, death of, or sunset of the Sense Monitor.

Scenario #2 - Sense releases a new monitor that’s more powerful. We all want more power right… Tim the tool man taught me that when I was just a child with his famous grunting. Well if I can’t just slap a new device in and be off and running why would I want to start over for more power or features? I would certainly feel defeated and let down that all the effort would be for not. This scenario is meant to pull in the marketing team, aha a way to sell to existing customers! Come on marketing put some pressure on those devs!

What if Sense takes an idea from Corsair and makes the monitor extendable in the likes of a Commander Pro… hint hint! Turn that middle port for 1 CT clamp into an accessory port that allows for multiple CT’s via a hub. I would drool over the opportunity to try that out… but if I had to delete everything and start over… My dreams would be crushed and tears would overcome the brief moment of elation.

I’m not 100% sure that I would stick around if I had to start over due to a failure of the module. I don’t know if I would want to participate in the same way. Unless of course I could just swap the old for a new!

I think my point has been made. We need a way to replace or upgrade the physical module without losing all the work we put into it.

And everyone who reads this, chip in! What do you think? Don’t be shy to post.

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Some of your concerns were addressed earlier in a different thread, Recurring Revenue and Long-term Viability. The person who wrote that opening post was convinced to let go of his fears.

Of course, change is the only constant in the world. I can’t tell you that none of your fears will ever come true. In fact, as you note, technology has a distinct tendency towards becoming obsolete. As for myself, I have seen the people at Sense invest repeatedly in keeping their customers happy, so I trust that if/when my box becomes obsolete, they will have some kind of path forward.

I happened to read that post actually. And I think the issue there was more about where will Sense be as a company. I think of those things as well when purchasing devices (recently uhoo/airthings/awair), but I saw the investments from Schneider and others and that’s not something I worry about. Additionally, I personally don’t care about the money that I paid for the product. If the device becomes a brick one day so be it. It’s the time and personal investment that I want to grow with.

I was already asked once by tech support to replace the device. According to tech support, when they wanted me to replace the monitor, all would be lost. The entire account would have to be deleted and re-created. I refused and decided to replace just the CTs for the exact reason that I listed above. I didn’t want to go through my house and re-do everything I just did. It’s demoralizing. So being that I experienced this once, my suggestion is that they come up with a path to replace the device sooner rather than later.

The comment about the marketing team was not meant to draw a parallel between the post you referenced. If you read my post in it’s entirety you’ll see I’m actually offering up a few suggestions which happen to all be centered around allowing users to upgrade and replace the device.

If a Sense employee chimes in tomorrow and says “We’re already working on it”. Case closed.

What you made me realize though was that the post title with “what’s your fear” could elicit the wrong perspective and was slightly “click baitish” so I’ve removed that and modified my language.

Agree with your sentiments, it would be really nice if the hardware could be replaced or upgraded, while maintaining all historic data, or at least maintaining the complex configuration data and applying to the new device. Having replaced one Sense already, my backup plan includes keeping a download of hourly data for each year that has gone by, plus whatever sampled data I can reasonably accommodate in Home Assistant.

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Agree, I was bitten by this back in the old days when my monitor needed to be replaced. We’re spoiled by the iPhone upgrade/replacement process, which is so completely easy and seamless that it makes the decision to upgrade your hardware much easier! Coming out with new hardware revisions and an easy migration process would be a way to build a revenue stream for existing Sense customers…

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I am not clear if a manual data reset is intended to benefit from this Wishlist item, or only the replacement of the Sense monitor. Here is a list to summarize items that should transfer:

  • All the information under My Home on the Settings tab in the app should transfer. This includes address and home size plus all the information and fields in the Device Inventory.
  • I suggest we skip the next tab under Settings, which is called Connected Devices. The programming effort to make these settings transfer is probably greater than the user effort to recreate them.
  • All the information under Electricity Info on the Settings tab in the app should transfer, including any Time of Use rate zones that the user has defined.
  • The final tab under Settings is view only information about the Monitor. It need not transfer.
  • I agree with Kevin1 that hourly usage history by device be excluded, as this information can already be saved for backup via data export. Leaving this item out reduces the amount of programming effort to complete the Wishlist, which makes Sense more likely to implement it.

Not yet discussed above is what might transfer in regard to native device definitions. I propose that the system store user-defined characteristics such as name, make, model and location for every native detection. Later, whenever the AI engine detects a new device, the interface could offer a pick list of old names which might apply to the new detection.

To go a little further with the idea for transferring native device definitions, it might be possible to save some of the values which describe the device in 20 dimensional space per the quote above. Could the AI engine then seed its search with those values in order to re-find those devices more quickly? Would that strategy help if one needs to adjust sensor clamps around the main power wires?