Project image
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£8,301
pledged of £20,000pledged of £20,000 goal
184
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on May 31 2013
Last updated October 8, 2013

PLUGAWAY: The Convenient Home Control (Canceled)

PlugAway: the PLUG that lets you use your SMARTPHONE to WIRELESSLY monitor and CONTROLyour electrical appliances when AWAY!

PLUGAWAY: The Convenient Home Control (Canceled)

PlugAway: the PLUG that lets you use your SMARTPHONE to WIRELESSLY monitor and CONTROLyour electrical appliances when AWAY!

£8,301
pledged of £20,000pledged of £20,000 goal
184
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on May 31 2013
Last updated October 8, 2013

About

What is PlugAway?

PlugAway is the plug that lets you use your smartphone to wirelessly monitor and control your electrical appliances, even when away! PlugAway enables you to check and see what electrical appliances are or aren't running (then remotely control them); allows you to control them through an automated timer; provides real-time energy readings for each appliance, and even assists you to monitor and track your energy history (per appliance and accumulative) - all this on your phone!

Simple to Set-Up, Simple to Use



Where we're at

We believe in this project. Through our own personal investments we've:

  • Formed a great team that operates from Beijing
  • Engineered reliable hardware (U.S. compatible)
  • Created a system that can collect user energy information
  • And now we're developing the app (determining how to succinctly and simply relay key information about energy consumption to final user)

Why we need your support

  • We want PlugAway to be affordable, and to do that, we need funds to purchase in bulk. The more we raise now, the cheaper for end-consumers. And then more people can benefit from PlugAway's great functions!
  • Different countries use different socket styles. Through your funds, we can tailor PlugAway to more countries' socket styles - and your feedback will determine where PlugAway is released!
  • We also want to receive your comments about material selection. We want to know how green you really are. Cutting to the chase, would you pay the extra buck to have your PlugAway made from recycled materials?

What exactly does PlugAway let me do?

  • Control your appliances (on/off) from anywhere
  • Use a timer to control when your appliances automatically turn on and/or off
  • Access real-time energy readings from each appliance
  • Check your energy history
  • Easily identify what appliances are hiking up your energy bill
  • Calculate your energy bill
  • Stop you crawling around the floor trying to turn off socket switches
  • Offer security feature for when you're on holiday
  • Show off to your friends and neighbours!

The PlugAway app

Whilst the PlugAway switch looks good, we're all about our free PlugAway app! We've spent (and are still spending) hours on optimising our app from a three-pronged approach that balances aesthetics, functionality and simplicity.

All of the earlier mentioned functions are readily accessible on your phone through our app - though you also have the option of controlling/viewing everything from your home or office computer. As for simplicity, the PlugAway app has a built-in Wi-Fi scanner so all you need to do is enter your network password and then press that big shining on/off button to start controlling your appliances.

PlugAway will work with smartphones that have an iOS or Android Operating System. The free PlugAway app will originally be available on the App Store and Google Play markets. More platforms may be released depending upon demand.

Design and Tech Stuff 

* Pics for those interested *

Whilst predominantly situated in Beijing, our PlugAway prototypes are designed for American (120V, 60Hz, Type A) and the Chinese (220V, 50Hz, Type I) sockets (see Socket Information in our FAQs below to learn more about socket types).  Once plugged into your regular socket the PlugAway switch connects to your Wi-Fi router through an IEEE 802.11/b network - making it compatible with regular Wi-Fi networks worldwide.

Our classy design is currently coming in at 80*80*39mm (at its widest point) and 60*60*30mm at the socket point of contact - so there's no problem when using 2 PlugAway switches adjacently in a standard U.S. twin socket.  It's weight will be influenced by the finally selected material composition - pending your feedback.

For durability and cost purposes, our protoype was made from vinyl plastic. For environmental reasons, we're hoping to produce our final product using recycled and/or recyclable materials.  However, this decision will be influenced by cost and your comments.

Post us a comment via our website or facebook if you've any further questions

Who we are

Torrap is a group of people from diverse backgrounds. Our interest is in utilising smartphone technology to design and develop consumer focused electronics and mobile software. Our initiatives typically orientate around themes of energy efficiency, increasing consumer convenience, and saving user money. PlugAway is our first project on Kickstarter. Our core team members include:

CaiJing (Richard) - Entrepreneur and Founder, Richard has 15 years of Financial Marketing experience. Previous experience includes co-founding Cashflowcap, an influential investment consulting company in China with assets under consultation exceeding 1.5 billion RMB

LiuYi - PlugAway's full-time Project Manager. Trained as a Mechanical Engineer, LiuYi has 18 years of experience, including Project Management positions in Telehouse (China) and Komatsu Industries

ChenXian - A software engineer by profession, ShenXian has held main occupation as Head of Development at Duome.cn since 2008 (well-known by its 4million Chinese users for developing mobile platforms with organisations ranging from McDonals to the State Grid Corporation of China). Previously worked for Gameloft/UBI, a globally recognised mobile games development company

John Storm - Originally came to China to work for the China Britain Business Council, but opted for working as a freelance consultant in Beijing. Prior experience includes working as Sustainability Manager in a Hong Kong manufacturer and an upbringing in Retail Management in the U.K.

Our Design Philosophy

We have tried to integrate the following core philosophies into our design:

What the future holds in store

We're excited about the massive potential of PlugAway! As well as making PlugAway compatible with other country's socket types, we're also already thinking of how we can incorporate PlugAway technology into multi-way adapters, a PlugAway Slimline, travel PlugAways, and other devices.

Special thanks to Kickstarter for this great website!  And thanks to all of you, our pledgers, your support is extremely welcome!

Risks and challenges

No idea is immediately perfect. Here're some of the challenges that we've encountered:

Summarising information for a phone screen: PlugAway gathers information allowing users to monitor their real-time and historical energy levels. Providing such information on a phone screen in a user-friendly and non-crowded format requires prioritisation of information and consideration towards presentation. We want to avoid creating a large sophisticated menu screen and maintain a simple approach. We're still in the process of optimising this.

Varying electricity prices: As it gathers energy data, one of our favourite benefits of PlugAway is that it can allow you to calculate how much it costs to run any (or all) of your plug-in electrical appliances. The challenge here is that electricity pricing schemes vary substantially throughout our intended markets. To overcome this, we will design a simple input prompt that lets you customise your PlugAway to your local electricity pricing scheme and currency.

Raising money (obviously!): Our aim is not profit maximisation. If we could, we'd give everybody a PlugAway for free, reduce global energy demand, and help save the world. A big 'Hurrah' for humanity. However, we're not that loaded. We need to cover costs and build awareness. Thank you Kickstarter for helping us!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $7

    A virtual high-five, full voting opportunity, insider updates, an appreciative e-card sent to you from the Great Wall! (All below pledges include this pledge level).

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    5 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £15 or more About $19

    1x PlugAway Switch (US or UK style) - Everything you need to get started and 'give it a try' with 1 PlugAway Switch (domestic shipping included)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    29 backers
    £

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £18 or more About $23

    1x PlugAway Switch (Universal/travel) - Everything you need to get started and 'give it a try' with 1 PlugAway Switch (domestic shipping included)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    16 backers
    £

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £70 or more About $88

    5x PlugAway Switches (US or UK style) - everything you need to get started with a set of 5 PlugAway switches(domestic shipping included)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    14 backers
    £

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £75 or more About $95

    5x PlugAway Switches (Universal/travel) - Everything you need to get started with a set of 5 PlugAway Switches (domestic shipping included)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    13 backers
    £

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  6. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £13 or more About $17

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL! 1x PlugAway Switch (US or UK style) - Everything you need to get started and 'give it a try' with 1 PlugAway Switch (domestic shipping included)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 55 backers
    £

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  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £60 or more About $76

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL! 5x PlugAway Switches (US or UK style) - everything you need to get started with a set of 5 PlugAway switches (domestic shipping included)

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 50 backers
    £

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Funding period

- (45 days)