Notice all detected devices default to “OTHER”?


#1

Has anyone watched there bubble screen and seen when any detected device turns on? The wattage always hits the “Other” bubble first and then the bubble for for the device pops up.
It makes me curious about where the decision that it’s a known detected device is happening? Is it done on the cloud or back end? Is it done in the monitor itself?
The sense website states the “orange box” is the brains of the operation. Further down it say device monitoring happens locally and the monitor and servers work together to send the information to our apps.
I’m trying to better understand and I don’t see where the monitor communicates in any way locally. If it’s true that it does then why can’t we see real time data? And if those statements are accurate we should be able to see real time usage and known devices.
With my internet provider there are times I have an orange brick. Am I missing something or misunderstanding completely?

https://blog.sense.com/how-the-sense-home-energy-monitor-works/


#2

Pretty sure it’s done on the monitor itself. But seriously are you complaining about a 1/2 sec delay of the devices being detected? The monitor is both analyzing the signal and trying to display a real time meter to you. The pattern match to determine of a device is on may very well be a 1/2 second pattern. So you either have to delay the data going to the phone or display “other” while the monitor recognizes the pattern.


#3

To give an example why this delay happens. Let use the example of a device speaking.

What is going to be heard is unknown to you (or other). The device says “Hello I’m the Dryer”. That sentence takes 1 second to say.

You are asking sense to know what the device is before “Hello” is even said, or before the dryer speaks… the delay is because you need to read the whole pattern and get to the word Dryer.


#4

I’m told the monitor tells the servers of on/off events and the server hosts our app.

Without going into all the possibilities of how they’re handling data, it is how they operate EVERYTHING right now.

I’ve argued the cloud factor as well, but come to understand that Sense is much better off having data from everyone.

The servers make the app work and get your data to you in a nice fashion, the monitor is the nerd throwing out raw data that needs to be decoded.

If your internet is that flaky then it’s possible to get a dual WAN gateway and use cellular as backup.


#5

No @mattlebaugh, I’m not complaining about any delay my web app power meter (when it works) can be off an hour or more. Delays are something I’m used to. I was curious why I would even notice that they default there first. I would think it would check for known devices first instead of being placed in other first.
It’s more about the entire path of data. @samheidie I believe answered the main question I was trying to get straight.
My thoughts were the monitor measures and collect data) store some) and sends it to the severs. The servers then analyze, store and deliver to that apps.
The way the webpage for the product reads the detected devices are decided by the monitor as “the powerful computer” and “brain” of the operation.
@samheidie confirmed what I was thinking and had a great suggestion for Internet.
I do already use iPhone hotspot and connect to laptop wirelessly. The laptop is wired to router/access point and shares the internet connection. But I then have to shut a lot of things down because having the LTE host traffic for 20+ devices makes me hit my data cap in a couple of days. There is no such thing as unlimited LTE here even when the name states”unlimited”.
I’ll hope for real time data even if it’s raw data from the monitor or better yet, they internet service will finally be fixed. Windstream communications know they have a problem but haven’t figured it out yet. They have been out over a dozen times. Everything has been replaced from the pole to the modem, twice. And this is the third modem. The first six trips they were certain it was something on my end.


#6

Everything you “see” in the web app or phone app comes via the cloud servers at Sense, and only indirectly from your monitor. Running off the monitor really isn’t an option given the visualizations needs for tons of data.


#7

@kevin1 has gone over the data flow several times in multiple threads, searching the forum could help with some of these questions. Below is a very detailed theory, in a thread you participated multiple times in. I just assumed you read that thread. Your original post and title focused mostly on the delay from other to device, which I explained.


#8

Do you really think it needs tons of data for the very basic readings we see on the timeline? I’m talking without any tagging, just bare bones current measurements.
To get the reading we see on the timeline, especially on the web app that does not tag, it’s only taking measurements through the CT clamps and only one type of measurement at that. Of course the speed it’s doing it is something it couldn’t send to the app.
Im wondering how it’s any different than a man standing there with a meter and watching while he tells another person the readings as he sees them. Again, big difference in speed. But if the monitor is taking measurements and the app is on the same local network and capable of displaying the information then I don’t understand why it’s not possible.
Maybe I’m looking at it all wrong and it’s super complex. Just doesn’t appear that way to me.
Monitor “I see xyz” sends to app APP “I’m displaying xyz from monitor”


#9

I’ve read a ton of topics and posts about it. I understand about data flow but the question is always skirted about why it’s not possible.
At least in any satisfactory detail.
Most answers have to do with the amount of data needed. What exactly is that huge amount of data?
From what I see, the timeline is showing us total curropassing through to our panels. It’s not broken down into devices, that happens elsewhere. It’s a single measurement easily taken with a good Fluke meter and the proper accessory clamps.
I only see huge amounts of data because it’s taking so many measurements very quickly and that data adds up. But just how it’s setup to not send us all that data but in 1/2 second intervals, it could be setup to send the app something similar or even a longer interval.


#10

It may not be a matter of what is possible, but a matter of what makes the most sense for the product and its user base.

For you, with your very unique network setup at home, you want direct, local access to your real time power meter.

For most, it probably doesn’t matter.

Without going into all the detail, in short, I see this being a customer experience and ultimately customer service nightmare. When the app starts mis behaving, how do you troubleshoot it. Is the average user going to understand that maybe their internet blipped out, so power meter in app works, but all the other tabs don’t? IoT VLANS?

You probably have more examples of apps that do what you want, but most of the home automation apps that I can think of that offer local access don’t have feature changes between local and remote.
The devices themselves handle all the processing, but they open a socket to a cloud service to allow remote connection / access to that device.

As mentioned before, I think believe there are hardware limitations on what the Sense is able to do locally, so a cloud service is necessary and it makes the most sense to keep everything in the cloud.

Maybe one day Sense will open up an API and you can write your own applet to pill real time data locally across your network.

So when you say “are you missing something” I would say maybe. I can’t speak for Sense, but having developed software, I can speak for myself. Product development is driven by the overreaching goal of the software. I know what I want my software to do. I rely on user feedback for new ideas etc… but the decisions of what features go in are my decision based on what is best for the entire userbase and long term needs of the product. So the “missing” item is thinking more than just yourself, or the 445 active users on this forum. Think of Grandma and Grandpa who like to watch the bubbles pop up and check that the porch light is off.
Or the Air B&B owner who isn’t a technofile, but wants to keep track of their rental property from afar.

On this forums, generally speaking, I would feel comfortable saying we lean more towards “nerd” than we do “average” consumer. That is good because we think outside the box and the Sense team seems to like the input and is good enough to create this community and participate in it. There are many products that have communities, but the company doesn’t participate other than to say "we don’t participate, or “see this official help document”.

So I’m saying, I think the discussion is good, but lets remember its not just us nerds that this product is for and something that seems clear and simple to you or I may not serve the goals or purposes of the product for the masses.


#11

Should anyone come across this thread by searching later. If using the device without the internet is what you want vote for the feature below.


#12

@ben, when it comes to support for the app, they already have that problem. My app does not work oroponeither does the web app. Because it’s just mine, it’s not getting the attention it deserves. So on top of having intermittent internet, what is supposed to work just plain doesn’t (not internet connection related)
An API is on the product wishlist many times and mentioned just about everywhere. Maybe some day.
When you talk about grandpa and grandma and their enjoyment watching bubbles, what if their internet goes down? What do you think their preference would be most likely? Switching to the timeline or nothing at all?
I had hoped for the sense team at least watching the forum but to hear they participate is great. I know about the seminars and monthly meeting they do here. It sounds like your saying they do more than that.
Ultimately you are correct with the difference I see in the product than they do. They also have knowledge about the workings that I will never know.
I guess you could say this is my feedback. Maybe it’s just one user. But I’ve run a couple companies and had a company of my own. I know what one person can do to business. I’m not the only one that has expressed my dislike for feeling misled about where the product is currently. It’s a bit deceptive in the way they market the product with what is said (I take what’s printed literally), the statements and screenshots represent base case scenario. It’s more a Vision of what the are TRYING to get to.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not unhappy and my friends and family are probably very tired of hearing me sing praises about sense and my being a bit pushy to get them onboard. Even offered to buy one for Dad and he wouldn’t take it!
I’m on the forum mainly to read and learn. But I also come to share my experience and feedback through “Discourse”.
The stereo in my car sucks but I love the car.
My Sense experience is similar.


#13

@samwooly1, my understanding is that the local monitor collects the instantaneous data (detailed and summary), and processes existing M/L models. Everything gets uploaded to the cloud – the detailed data (which may have a pretty length latency) gets analyzed by Sense’s back-end for building new M/L models. The summary data and result of existing M/L models should have lower latency and is used to drive the app ( instantaneous power meter and bubbles).

I believe the delay b/w when the device turns on and it’s power appears in “Other” vs a new “bubble” pops up is due to the fact that it takes a little bit of time to evaluate the model and recognize that the device turned on. So the instantaneous meter shows that your power consumption went up; within 1/2-1second the M/L algorithm analyzes the signal and identifies the device, then it’s power consumption can be subtracted from Other and a new “bubble” appears.


#14

I have a local device, called a Rainforest Eagle, that tells me net meter usage and history by connecting to my meter via Zigbee. It delivers real-time readings on an every 2 second basis plus gives a limited view of hourly, daily and monthly history similar to Sense. Guess how often I consult that ? Never !

Sense is far superior in every way I care about:

  • sample speed / min resolution
  • includes solar
  • device identification
  • speed and utility of user interface
  • viewing history - local Rainforest is immensely slow when it comes to displaying anything other than past hour. No way to selectively view history or zoom.
  • export - Rainforest export doesn’t work for period longer than a day.

The last two limitations are use killers for me, but brought about due to limited memory and CPU of the Rainforest monitor. I think you might not realize how much magic happens thanks to the cloud.


#15

Sounds like a good option for me and my situation @kevin1. I too think Sense is far superior, when it works.
My web app does t work properly using any of the supported browsers and the iPhone has intermittent trouble also.
They have known about problems with accessing the community trying to use the app for a long time and believe they pushed out two updates, the problem persists.
When others start experiencing the same issues I’m ha I guess then maybe it will get more attention.
I e reported it to support and got the normal canned answer of looking into it without a single suggestion of what to do.
I really don’t want to buy a rainforest and spend more money. Windstream let me know they think my problem is resolved for internet so maybe one issue is fixed. It’s jist time to get what’s supposed to work on Sense’s end taken care often


#16

Other downside is that the Rainforest Eagle only works if you have a supported smart-meter, that your utility has qualified.


#17

@serovner86
I too believe EVERYTHING happens on the servers. But take a look at the images I posted, doesn’t it clearly say that the devices are on the monitor. When I was looking at buying this, I read everything about it. There are so many things in the statements that I believe are misleading. If you read enough on here you will see there were many more users before me that felt the same way and even got rid of their monitor. It’s not like that for me. Being a Beta tester doesn’t bother me, I’ve done it before with Microsoft. But I knew what I was doing upfront and didn’t pay for it.
I spread the word and told three complete strangers I had conversations with about it while they watched me keep looking at my phone today.
It’s a terrific product but doesn’t live up to the expectations given just yet.


#18

On your 4:44AM screenshot it certainly does say “so that device monitoring can be handled locally”, get some sleep :slight_smile:

Fact of the matter is that your monitor and servers need to work together.

Maybe someday they’ll have a failover ‘local only’ mode when the WAN is down, but don’t count on it.

How much is your internet actually down? Give me % up and down for a given time span.


#19

To reply to a few points.

Support - What make you feel that you are not getting the attention that the problem “deserves”.
You are a customer. You deserve support, but what defines what that level of support is. Because you think you are a higher priority than the other issues that support is dealing with?
For your web/ app issues. I assume that either a) your specific account has some bizarre bug or b) that your home internet situation which you have expressed many time is not good is the root of the problem. How does a live power meter keep up a data stream if you have shoddy internet? LTE ping times can change. You’ve mentioned your 5 or 6 different networks. Are you suffering from overlapping channels and bad wifi signal due to interference (your TP Link doesn’t’ work at a range that many others have said works just fine for them). These are very specific to you and very difficult for customer support to troubleshoot as ultimately it may not be a problem with their product. I am not saying that they should not be supporting you, but when people toss around “deserve” it instantly makes me say to my self “what makes that person think they are better than everyone else”

Yes, an API has been mentioned many many times (which is why I mentioned it because I know that you have read the other threads). Sense has not said that they won’t be creating a public API at some point, so the product thread stays open for people to keep discussing it. So lets move on.

As for Grandma and Grandpa. I don’t think they have a preference because I don’t think that the average user is involved enough in the product to learn when which features work and when which features don’t work. I would expect that when the internet goes out, the app would do as it does currently and say “can’t connect to the internet, please try again”. Its a clear prompt. They know the issue is the internet and they either wait, or file a support ticket if they think it isn’t the internet. Grandpa, grandma and most users need an easy user experience. Certainly there are apps out there that change behavior based on inputs or difference scenarios, but my point was that if it doesn’t need to do those things, then why complicate the process if its not beneficial to the majority of users.

Sense team interaction - I am not suggesting they are doing more than what I think you have seen. My point was that some other product forums, the company does not have a community representative that is an active part of the community. @RyanAtSense is of course the daily face of the company, but others have chimed in. Not only making “official” statements, but as a humans sharing stories good and bad. Learning. Making us users know that there are people listening and reading these forums. It is not feasible nor good practice for them to reply to every thread and every product feature or request.

I’m glad you are singing praises about the Sense to others. I guess personally, I take issue with what I interpret as the overall tone of your posts. I have certainly seen you say good things about it, but when something isn’t exactly the way you’d expect it to be, or you don’t get the exact answer that you want that supports your point of view, you double down on why its wrong and should be better and why someone else (support) isn’t taking it seriously enough or acting fast enough.

I think you and I area alike in some ways. I know sometimes when I become passionate about something, and I just want to see it succeed, that passion comes off as aggression against the same thing I’m actually trying to support. I will work harder at not interpreting you messages that way and apologize for it.


#20

Hey @benin nit saying that myself, personally is not getting attention deserved. I’m speaking of the problems and issues themselves not getting the attention that they deserve.
The app and web app have got some type of problem either on their end or mine. Neither one works very well for me. I had brought up oroblems with the web app before. When I was the only one saying anything, it persisted. One e others started posting behind me with trouble, there was fixed pushed and the thread was closed. Apparently it worked for most. I think where their tech support department is smaller, they have to pick and choose what is addressed and how quickly. If it’s something affecting few then it just has to wait.
I do t believe it’s my internet issues because when I use another connection, the experience is the same. Could it be on my end? Sure, but I’m not finding where.
Another thing I’ve done is change things network wise for now. I have a single network running with only one router. It is a dual band router but there is no way 5.8 and 2.4 affect each other. And it’s not band steering as that is setup correctly also. I’ve removed Every variable I can think of. I’m open to more suggestions for sure!
I’m glad you brought up something about people feeling they deserve things. I believe I addressed above that I don’t feel I personally feel deserving. I do get a huge hint of entitlement from some early adopters that call those of us with valid issues or trouble, complainers or trolls. I’ve had my share of backlash from “complaints” in the form of complaints in return. Have I lashe out at a single person I haven’t agreed with or has negative comments toward me?
Either one of us could be correct about grandpa and grandma, we really don’t know what the average user would think. Except That I consider myself an average user. And let me point out that the sense monitor and the app actually don’t say anything about losing internet. Working from memory here but believe it say “cannot connect right now”. It doesn’t provide the reason why.
While I do appreciate that sense has a representative on the community, there are some very minor mixed feelings. Who is in control? The community itself or Sense?
I’ll abree with you 100% that my time doesn come across rough and rubs people the wrong way. It’s usually not intended and I’ve tried to apologize when I e seen it happen and later realized.
I don’t expect for things to go “my way”. But I do expect that if sense as a company makes statements, claims, post images and videos that they should match real world experience. If I was the only one to say these things then I could see your side a bit better. But I’ve read back as far as possible and read where others have had the same issues and gripes I have, especially concerning feeling the sales pitch is disingenuous. The difference is they got ran off. A lot just quit using sense or quit visiting the forum. I’m a little more outspoken, have a thick skin but most important I ABSOLUTELY BELIEVE in this product. I just feel there are things that need work. I don’t know what type of career you have but my wife has a retail store and my family owned a wholesale distribution company. That one person, like those that have quit, are those most damaging thing that can happen to a business and their reputation . Do you think there has been more sense monitors sold through marketing and advertising or word of mouth? I can guarantee the latter. When someone lhears about sense they likely visit the website. When they get the unit installed and it doesn’t quite match their expectations then who’s fault is it? Theirs for having too high of expectations or the seller that presents it?
(I’ve been told it was my expectations)
I’ll tell you something I have done. My electric cooperative finances energy efficiency products for its users. It has 25,000 total and I’ve talked with them on more than one occasion about adding sense to the line of products they offer. You are correct, I am very passionate about it.
There is talk on here about “when Sense will be acquired”. My fear is they do not grow enough and some of the bigger names with never ending deep pockets and huge teams develop their own. I don’t want this to be a memory like a 7th grade science project.
I apologize Ben (and everyone else) if I’m offending in any way. It’s my personality and just the way I’m built. If you think I’m critical about this it pales in comparison to how critical I am about the expectations I put on myself.
I do truly try my best to understand views that oppose mine and GREATLY appreciate all the early adopters that have made all my good experiences possible.
Take care.