Wally is a new sensing system that uses the electrical system of a house and wireless technology to alert homeowners when there is an issue with moisture, humidity or temperature. It was named for the walls whose wiring it uses to function.
Developed by SNUPI Technologies in Seattle, Washington, it opens up advanced home monitoring by turning the building into a receiving antenna. "Small, clam-shaped wireless nodes" are placed in critical areas like under the sink in the kitchen cabinet, under the washing machine in the laundry room, near the water heater or in the attic or basement. When a problem is sensed, an email or text alerts the homeowner who canget it checked out before serious damage is done.
No installation is required. The Wally hub plugs into any electrical outlet and come with six sensors which can be placed anywhere in the house. Connection to the Internet is done via Ethernet and can communicate with the manufacturer and the homeowner. This could notify landlords that repairs are needed before tenants even know there is a problem.
The life expectancy of the Wally, which requires very little power, is about ten years. No batteries need changing; no maintenance is necessary. It can even qualify consumers for a discount on their homeowners insurance premiums.
Jeremy Jaech is the founder and CEO of SNUPI Technologies. His partners were a couple University of Washington engineering professors who developed the system of using a building's electrical wiring as an antenna for a wireless system. Jaech also co-founded Visio and created Pagemaker.
Currently Wally is available only through the Wally website or at home shows. The next step will be air quality and security monitoring.
Read a couple articles about concerns over wireless use, the Smart Meter health hazard causing lawsuits article about concern over radio-frequency (RF) radiation from smart meters or wireless utility meters, and Wi-Fi Internet access devices dangerous? Could this be an issue with whole houses becoming antennas?
Wireless sensors are becoming popular for many functions. The MeterPlug to reduce energy consumption article describes the StickNFind Technologies device out in March 2013 that notifies smart phones or tablets how much an appliance is costing in electric bills.
The Determine plant moisture needs article is about the water sensor chip that a Cornell University research team came out with in October 2013 which uses wireless technology to notify growers when plants need moisture.