This project's funding goal was not reached on July 23, 2013.
About this project
TechCrunch.com: "The founding team has lots of experience in hardware engineering, iOS and cloud computing programming and electrical engineering. They have the chops to pull this off."
Gigaom.com: "An energy management system is a smart idea for technologically-inclined folks to make the most of their gadgets without spending a fortune on energy costs."
Reviewed.com: " As impressive as Nest is, though, it doesn't have the domestic all-in-one versatility that a truly groundbreaking air conditioning solution would need. Neither does the Modlet, for that matter. Valta seems more promising."
TechnologyTell.com: "The neatest thing about Valta is that it takes a lot of the guesswork our of what devices should be on or off, and - more importantly - alerts you to potential fire hazards like the iron or coffee pot you might have forgotten to unplug when you done with them."
CRN.com: List Valta as one of 10 cool tech products on kickstarter.
Mobilesyrup.com: "The potential here is huge."
Recombu.com: "Valta can promise that its wireless devices won't congest people's home wireless networks."
We want to thank everyone who has covered us, supported us, and liked us. Your feedback gives us even more motivation. We will be bringing a series of new add-on products and innovative app's. Your continue support is the fuel to drive us to strive further.
VALTA IS UNIQUE...
Valta sockets are unique because it is equipped with a high resolution chipset, which along with our patented energy detection/measurement system, can measure and identify standby power. This means that our system can detect devices that have been left on, but are not being used. The system can push automated messages to your iPhone whenever this happens, to allow you to proactively manage your energy usage and eliminate waste. The “orange” button appears, when your device is in standby mode, to allow you to turn off the un-used device. You can worry less, save more, and make the environment better for everyone.
Our app has the capability to detect whether you are at home or away automatically through your smartphone. If you like, you can set the app to turn off devices when you are away from home, and to turn back on once you are back. There will be no more "Ooops, I forgot" moments and at the same time it saves energy.
Valta’s three different scheduling options allows you to customize your home or office to behave as you want it to.
- Schedule: schedule events to simplify your daily routines
- Timer: use timer function to help you complete task
- Grouping: group devices together and turn them on and off, all at once
Our system allows you to set multiple schedules. With easy settings on your iPhone or web app, you can schedule appliances to power on and off at specified times of day – even when you’re away.
Valta monitors your energy usage in realtime, helping to calculate the energy consumption and providing you with easy-to-understand data about your energy usage pattern - Total consumed, energy used and potential saving; usage by time and by date; 24-hour data logger. Historical data is stored in our cloud server, so you can always check and find out if any improvement has been made. Most of all it’s quick, simple, and intuitive to use.
Valta cloud ensures that all data on your iPhone and web app are in sync - any update on on/off status or notification will be refreshed instantly on all screens whenever and wherever you are.
How does it work?
Valta energy management system consists of 2 parts:
Hardware: v-Hub and socket,
Software: iPhone app, web app & cloud servers
Our system connects your electrical devices to your iPhone, iPad, or computer through an internet-connected v-Hub. By connecting the electrical device to valta socket, the socket will communicate with the v-Hub and upload/ store your energy usage data to our cloud server. All data will then be displayed on your iPhone app or web app. With our Instant refresh & sync feature, you are in total control of your home/office anywhere in the world.
- Socket Standard - NEMA 5-15 (3-pronged electrical outlet)
- Electrical rating - 120V/ 15A/ 60Hz/ 1800W
- Power consumption - 0.6w (min.)/ 1.1 watt (max.)
- Communication - ISM (industry Scientific and medical) frequency band
- Material - Top graded PC, V0 (flame retardant)
- High resolution chipset to measure standby power
- Size - (W) 38.0mm x (H) 79.3mm x (D) 35.0mm
- Certification - ETL/ cETL and FCC / IC certified
- Input power - DC 5V@1A
- Power consumption - 1.0 watt (min.)/ 1.75 watt (max.)
- Material - ABS, V0 (flame retardant) and PC transparent
- Communication - ISM (industry Scientific and medical) frequency band with min. 100M point-to-point signal range
- Feature: Pair up to 16 sockets
- Size - (W) 92.8mm x (H) 98.3mm x (D) 24.3mm
- Certification - ETL/ cETL and FCC / IC certified
- Mobile App - Any iPhone/iPod touch with iOS 5.0 or up. Android version will be available soon.
- Data resolution - Up to one data point per minute
- Security - All data storage and transmission are encrypted.
- Features - There are 2 main parts in our system - Control and Monitor.
Control page allows you to control individual device, receive notification and set scene.
Monitor focuses on the data. You can check out your overall usage and potential saving, device breakdown usage, and previous usage history in $ value and energy value (kWh/ Wh).
Valta remote energy management system: iPhone app interface demo
We started this project to bring transparency to electricity usage. We wanted to enable the masses to understand how energy is being used and wasted, and what we can do about it. Most of the energy management systems out there only allow you to turn on and off electrical devices remotely. The ones with energy measurements to help you manage usage are too technical and require insider knowledge/ background to navigate. It is too difficult for the average person to understand. Our goal is to solve these problems by creating an elegant, yet simple to use system that can truly help people manage their energy usage without sacrificing their life style. We believe being energy efficient no longer just means turning down the thermostat, or turning off the light when you leave the room. It means eliminating energy waste. Valta provides a tool for users to use energy without wasting it and help users to adopt more sustainable usage patterns.
How far we have come
Building a complete system of such scale is a complex and time-consuming task. We have overcome numerous technical complexities along the way and are ready to take on new ones.
- Compact hardware design: Fitting the components into a compact socket housing is no mean feat. The compact size of the socket and the functions it can perform really push the design envelops. We have accomplished the first set of prototypes, and our initial feedbacks from user testing have been quite positive. We are refining details and putting our product through some of the industry’s most strenuous testing and certification process.
- Device power profile detection: Every device has its own unique energy signature. Some has low standby power (eg. 1watt) and other has high standby power (eg. 12 watts). We have applied advanced techniques in data grouping and classification to enable automatic detection of standby power and device power profile.
- Perfect Synchronization: User should have a consistent view of the status of all their devices across any platform at anytime. Our system ensures all status of all devices within the system synchronizes within seconds as you can see from the system demo video. Users will know exactly what is going on at any time, whether through the web or their iPhone.
- Intuitive User Experience (UX design):The user is central in our design. We applied lean design principles and tested our software and hardware every stage of the way to ensure the system is easy-to-use and easy-to-understand. From system set up to application navigation, it is an easy and intuitive energy management experience for our users. Users will be able to customize their energy usage to fit their lifestyle and understand the results of their actions.
We need your support
It has taken us over 2 years to build the infrastructure of our energy management system. We have completed our working prototype. The hardware such as the v-Hub and the sockets, the software interface such as the iPhone App and web, and the backend support, which includes valta cloud servers are all in place. We have completed the field testing for our entire system. Now, all we need is to introduce this product into the market. With that, we encounter our biggest obstacles. We need significant investments in:
- Component orders
- Product certification
Your contribution will help us fund these final and critical steps to bring this endeavor to its completion.
Manufacturing standard and Project timeline
Our products will be produced in DongGuan, China in the factories we had partnered successfully before. Our team in HK will follow strict production quality standards to ensure the quality of our hardware products:
- Basic factory selection criteria: ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certificed
QA procedures: Inspection performed
- Incoming Quality Check (IQC)
- Initial Production Check (IPC)
- During Production Check (DUPRO)
- Finished Product Inspection (PSI)
- Container Loading Check (CLC)
Here is our timeline for putting valta products into your hands:
- Completed circuit board design for socket and v-Hub, and mobile app and web app.
- Field testing done by selected volunteer testers (20 sets)
- Software and hardware fine tuning begins.
- Tooling completed
- Pre-release production (50 sets) for production certification
- Packaging design complete
- Product certification begins
- Calibration system (designed for production) completed
- Order components for manufacturing (ETD 30 - 45 days)
- Calibration system final testing at factory
- Product certification completed
- Mass production begins (ETD 30 days)
- Ex. factory, shipping and custom clearance (ETD 30 days)
- Local distribution to Kickstarter backers (ETD 7 days)
- valta iPhone app and web app available
Risks and challenges
We have completed the housing tooling and ETL and FCC/ IC assessment of the socket and v-Hub at the world-renowned Intertek Testing and Inspection Services. Now, we are ready to start the actual product testing. Once the certification completed, we will begin to manufacture our products.
There are always possible risks with relation to keeping the manufacturing plan. Our team in Hong Kong will monitor closely the production schedule. But if there are unintended delays during material transport and/ or manufacturing processes, we will plan an appropriate course of action to minimize the duration and advise you immediately.
This version is designed for the North American market (NEMA 5-15 type B, standard wall outlet with three-pronged electrical outlet, 15A, 120V grounded). However, we are working on building a presence in the UK and Germany, and plan to bring valta to those markets in Q1 of 2014.
We do not recommend this, as the valta socket will read energy data cumulatively of all the electrical devices that are plugged into the power strip. We may not be able to detect standby power correctly.
Yes, we are planning on developing the android and windows apps after the launch of the iPhone app. As soon as we have a timeline we will share this with all our backers.
Maintaining cloud servers on a continuous basis cost money. In order for us to maintain high level of service, small monthly service fees might be introduced for future customers. However, if you decide to support us now, we will make sure no monthly fees will ever apply to you!
Our system is scalable. Each control hub supports up to 16 sockets, and our platform can support unlimited amount of control hubs within the account.
This is the first of a series of products that we will be introducing. Please look forward to new product launches by following us on facebook. We also welcome any feedbacks and new ideas from our users. E-mail us at http://mailto:email@example.com.
We started this project because we could not find any energy management systems out there that are easy to use and truly effective. We wanted to create a system that anyone can use without confusion, and the energy usage data can be presented to the user intuitively, so the user can take action easily to achieve true savings. We believe we have done that with this product.
So if you are:
1. Curious about your energy consumption patterns, and wondering about why your electricity bills are so high;
2. Sometimes forgetful, and leaves the house without turning things off that you meant to;
3. Or simply want to find a way to effective use less energy and extend the product life of your devices
Our product is for you.
1.Standby power detection: We are the only product in the market place that can detect un-used devices in standby mode, which enables us to send push message to your mobile device to remind you to turn it off. By doing this, we aim to change user behavior to adopt a more sustainable usage pattern for the long term.
2. Geofencing: Our app has the capability to detect whether you are at home or away automatically through your smartphone. If you like, you can set the app to turn off devices when you are away from your home, and to turn back on once you are coming home. There will be no more "Ooops, I forgot" moments and at the same time it saves energy.
3. Extremely low power usage: By leveraging 915 MHz RF, valta sockets use less energy than any of our competitors (0.6 watts). Most energy management solution uses Wi Fi, which consumes more energy, and in many cases, more energy than the standby power consumption of the devices they are monitoring. Why should anyone use a power saving system that might use more power itself?
4.Better connectivity: Most of your neighbors are using Wi Fi for their internet connectivity, so interference is a given. By leveraging 915 MHz RF, we get better range and less interference than Wi Fi or other solutions. Valta sockets has minimum range of 100m, while WiFi modules have maximum range of 50m.
5.Sleek Design: Most similar products in the market place are clunky and unpractical. Sockets are large and cover up the entire wall plug, which takes away from practicality of the product. Valta sockets are sleek and minimalistic. Plugging one in does not interfere with the customers from using the other plug for other purposes. On top of that, the system simply looks good.
- (35 days)