Valta is a fledgling smart home control system that lets you turn off appliances at the mains from your iPhone, iPad or desktop.
With Valta you’re able to remotely control up to 16 devices in the home. This is thanks to a control ‘v-Hub’ unit that connects to your home broadband router and individual sockets that sit between a mains connection and your appliances.
Valta will tell you of something’s been left switched on or if devices are on standby. From an app or through your PC or laptop you’re able to see at a glance if you’ve accidentally left something switched off in your hurry to get to work.
Read Recombu Digital’s guide to the Smart HomeAs well as acting as a remote kill switch for home appliances, the Valta app also comes with a dashboard telling you how much you’re saving each month.
“Most people aren’t aware of how much energy their wasting on an everyday basis,” says Valta co-founder Jeff Lin. “With the touch of a button, our smartphone app allows you to turn almost any device on or off, and it can show you what’s on, where, and when, so you can save money and energy.”
Lin says that the chipset inside each Valta v-Hub and socket is designed to detect energy waste and shut down appliances left on standby. The app will also let you create schedules so that devices come on standby and fire up on your way back from work.
So far so good, but haven’t we seen similar products and services before? E.ON’s smart meters offer very similar functionality but naturally require you to be an E.ON customer. ECO LAN from myStrom is a very similar proposition, but it’s products aren’t yet widely available in the UK.
Valta plans to launch products in the UK as well as Germany, Canada and the US later this year and you won’t be tied to any particular energy provider. No word on costs just yet but the Kickstarter page reveals that early investors can avoid having to pay any ‘small monthly service fees’ that might be introduced in the future.
Technical specifications for the master v-Hub and slave sockets are listed below. Note that some of the details are specific to the US and Canada and details for UK models will likely differ:
- 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. 100 meter Point-to-Point signal range
- Size – (W) 92.8mm x (H) 98.3mm x (D) 24.3mm
- 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 ABS, V0 (flame retardant)
- Size – (W) 38.0mm x (H) 79.3mm x (D) 35.0mm
The iOS app is designed to work with devices running iOS 5 and above. Android and Windows Phone versions of the app are promised once full funding has been achieved. The funding window closes on July 23, 2013.