Suggestion - Dedicated Sense smart-sensor to improve detection

I would be interested in and more importantly would buy a dedicated Sense accessory device that can be used to improve device detection. I have had Sense installed for about 6 months and still have a large pool of devices that are detected but not identified.

I imagine a small smart-sensor (picture the little chargers that come with iphones) that users could plug in between a single device and the wall socket. It would be used after a time period when Sense has had time to develop a number of detected but undefined devices, maybe 3 months or more. The smart-sensor could capture the unique signature of the appliance or whatever is plugged into it, communicate that to the main Sense unit and have it compared to the list of detected devices and activity for a match. The smart-sensor could then be moved and reused on different devices throughout the home to identify them one at a time.

The current process of quieting the home and turning stuff on one at a time to see what changes in the Sense UI still leaves some guessing in the process, particularly where several devices share a circuit.

A smart-sensor that captures the specific signature and timing of a single device would be a much more accurate way to start paring the pool of know but unidentified devices.


This almost perfectly describes what we’re doing with smart plugs:

However, we’re not quite at this point yet. Maintaining that persistent detection is a lot more challenging than it sounds, but we do hope to get there.

1 Like

Do the Kasa and Wemo smart plugs even sample the current signature as fast as Sense? Do they relay high frequency samples to Sense, where Sense can use the profiles as training or inferencing data? Or do they just pass to sense a low frequency sampling of current/voltage/power?

What sample rate does Sense have. Does this change if the Solar CT is also used?
What sample rate do each of the smart plugs have?

Ryan, do you envision that those smart plug devices could be moved to different outlets to identify the usage on the new outlet? I could see a complexity where the Sense somehow associates the WeMo with the specific circuit/device and therefore confuses the issue when moved to a new circuit.

If that is not the case then these devices may actually fit the bill.

Sense sampling rate is 1MHz for the main CTs and voltage ADC. Solar is a much lower rate but I don’t think it steals cycles from the main CTs if it’s enabled.

HS110 smartplugs are 2Hz sample rate, and involve wireless network latency and jitter, so there’s a ~100ms or so fudge factor thrown in there. But regardless, that data is potentially very useful for correlating the high-res data from the main CTs during a certain “window” to a known device.

1 Like

That’s certainly the goal in the longer term, as I noted above. But yes it’s quite complex. In the meantime, smart plugs provide you remote control, immediate detection, and provide us awesome ground truth data (yes, even if sampled at 2Hz) to improve detection for those connected devices. If you use smart plugs, be sure to label them correctly via the ‘What’s plugged into this’ flow you’ll see on the Device Settings page.

1 Like

I have a question. I am not college educated person, but have worked with electronics and Rf transmission most of my life. I have installed several Lutron Caseta Remote controllable light switches in my house. The switches, and other products in this line, lets you name these devices and control them thru a communications hub in my home, turn them on and off, see their currend state on or off thru an app in my phone. This system is capable of working thru other services for example Alexa. Couldn’t it be integrated to sense so if a switch is turned on or off, it would tell sense “kitchen Light is on” and sense could learn to interpret the load difference thru the total watt variation and switch name? Learn that when this switch is on the wattage would increase with a range of, lets say 16 to 30 watts. This would allow it to record a switch - dimmer combination ?
Sense is a great product and I love it, but that passes thru a regular switch it sees, but does not see or learn what lights pass thru a remote switch?

Sense works today with a few smart plugs that are Wi-Fi connected and actually measure power usage vs. just on/off. That’s a winning combo for two reasons:

  1. Provides actual power utilization that can be incorporated into the Sense devices data.

  2. Wi-Fi (vs Z-Wave or Zigbee) offers enough speed and low enough latency to deliver useful “ground-truth” to Sense.

Home automation interfaces aren’t likely to supply both of these, but should be considered…

@kevin1 answered this quite concisely here:

There’s further discussion in that thread:

One of the straightforward (literally) responses to your question would be: “If it were easy & fruitful, Sense would have implemented it already” … the fact is there are much more significant data sources (energy monitoring smart plugs) that, I believe, take priority in the highly iterative development cycle: on the backs of giants & big data.

That said, I am sure that Sense is thinking about integration with all manner of smart switches with the possibility of inferring energy use as you suggest … and prime among those would be ubiquitous brands like Lutron. The Philips Hue integration is similar and the energy use is inferred. Thermostats like Ecobee and Nest are up there as well but companies are companie$

Here’s a guess: Sense gets over the “chasm” and the money starts flowing from the likes of Lutron … bingo, problem solved!

[Would not be at all surprised if Lutron starts making an energy monitoring switch btw. Much more fun!]


Thanks for the answer! As I said, I am no engineer an d do not pretend to be one and you explained it very well!

Happy Holidays to you and yours

1 Like

Sense really needs their own devices or expand their supported devices. Each of the supported two devices have their issues.


It would be incredible if an integration with a home automation system such as SmartThings, Hubitat, Home Assistant, etc could be created so that Zigbee and Zwave switches could be leveraged.


I know the issue with Wemo and defaulting to off when power returns, but what issues do you have with the TP-Link range? I’ve pretty happy with mine (though I do wish they got pulled into Homekit).

I just bought a TP Link HS110 to test out, as the 5 Wemo Insight smart plugs have that “feature” that they boot up in the off state, rather than the state they were in before power was interrupted. (That Wemo “feature” is a huge design flaw, and I don’t suggest anyone get the Wemo smart plugs if your power goes out more than once a year…very frustrating.) I haven’t found any issues with the TP Link HS110 yet, and plan to get 4 more to replace the Wemos.

1 Like

My issue with the TP-Link Kasa device is the size of it. It takes the entire outlet and it’s very deep. Can’t put them behind appliances without adding 3 plus inches to the profile. Great device but size is bad for me anyway. Yes, I know they did it for a single device for all markets.


I agree the size of the TP-Link HS110 is a PITA. It is too deep and blocks the other outlet. I use these to solve the problem.

It isn’t pretty but provides an inexpensive solution.

Hope this helps



I use the same thing for a few outlets that I need both plugs.

I also use a 6ft appliance cord for my refrigerators with the TP-110 sitting on top of the refrigerator.

1 Like