We are very excited to announce two major updates to the mobile and Web apps: Themes and Smart Plugs.
Themes give you the ability to customize the look and feel of the Sense app. In addition to the traditional Sense orange theme, there is also a theme which should be particularly helpful for users that have red-green color blindness. Each Theme also has an optional Dark mode, which darkens the entire app experience, reducing the brightness of the screen. Note that we do not have an automatic switching feature for Dark mode at this time, but hope to include that in a future update.
You can change Themes and enable Dark mode under Settings > General > Themes.
We’re very excited to roll out some more integrations. Sense is now compatible with select smart plugs: the TP-Link Kasa HS110 and the Belkin Wemo Insight Plug. These smart plugs report both on/off events to Sense, as well as energy consumption. This means that you can ensure Sense properly tracks certain devices you particularly care about, as well as providing valuable ground truth data to help Sense get better for everyone. Here’s how to set it up:
- Before turning on the integration, you should make sure your smart plugs are on the latest firmware. You can do this via the Kasa and Wemo apps.
- Go to Settings > My Home > Connected Devices, and enable the integration for your smart plug(s).
- Once enabled, it will take a few minutes for Sense to add your new smart plug devices to your device list
And that’s it! Once added, these devices will function like any other device in Sense, albeit with a couple key differences:
- Control: The added bonus is that you will also be able to control the smart plug device (turning it on/off) right from the Sense app, by tapping the on/off button, shown on both the Devices screen and in the Device Details view.
- What’s plugged in?: For any smart plug device, you will also see a “What’s plugged in?” option in Device Details. We encourage you to answer this, so that you can better categorize the device, help Sense learn, and also ensure that you do not have any duplicate devices (in cases where you have a device on a smart plug that Sense has already detected).
- Idle: As time goes on, Sense will even learn if a device on a smart plug has clear differences between its "off,” "idle," and "on" states. For example, if you have a TV that always draws a few watts even when it’s "off,” and then shoots up in energy when you actually turn it "on," then Sense will actually display an "idle" state instead of “off.”
For more in-depth setup details, please see the associated knowledge base article.
We know that these are not the only smart plugs on the market, but we chose to focus on them for a two main reasons: (1) they are both popular models in the market, and (2) they report not only on/off data but also wattage. If other smart plugs meet these criteria, we will consider adding support for them as well.
In addition, we are not yet training your Sense monitor to recognize the plugged-in device in the absence of the smart plug. Therefore, for the best experience, we recommend that you set up your smart plug to monitor a device or set of devices, and then leaving it in place. That said, the new data collected by smart plugs will be of great benefit to our Data Science team in improving our device models and detection. With this in mind, we hope to utilize them towards implementing such a training feature in the future
For some more technical details on the smart plug integration, check out the help articles on the Sense Knowledge Base.
While most of the above features are also included in Web App v5.5, there are a couple of caveats:
- At this time, theme settings will not sync between mobile and web apps, so you’ll need to change it in the Web App separately from the mobile app.
- The smart plug integration can only be enabled and disabled from the mobile app.
- The “What’s plugged in?” option for smart plugs is only available from the mobile app.
As always, let us know what you think in the comments!