from Potential Labs
Watch the launch video now.
Who We Are
Potential Labs is a hardware technology startup whose mission is putting homeowners in charge of their electric bills. Nestled in the hills of Southeast Ohio, part of the Appalachian region, Potential Labs’ solutions help consumers understand their energy usage, save money, and reduce their impact on the environment.
Potential Labs launched their first product, Glow, with a Kickstarter campaign in early August gaining over $92,000 in funding so far.
The Product: Glow
Glow is a smart energy tracker for the home. It gives users glowing real-time feedback about their energy use, leading to energy savings and reduced impact on the environment. Glow’s breakthrough inductive wireless sensor allows anyone to install it in minutes. The device provides simple, real-time energy monitoring and smart budgeting tools from its companion mobile app. It also alerts users about extended high usage, sending a notification to their phone.
- Wireless sensor monitors energy usage
- Elegantly designed in-home display glows to show real-time feedback
- Advanced algorithms learn users’ energy usage patterns to tailor feedback and recommendations
- Mobile push notifications alert users of high usage
- Energy cost forecasting lets users set goals and track progress
- Mobile app for iOS and Android offers detailed data exploration
- Ambient light sensor dynamically adjusts Glow’s brightness
- Snooze button for temporarily pausing glowing feedback
- Uses just 6 Watts of electricity, less than an LED light bulb
How Glow Works
Glow’s breakthrough wireless sensor uses magneto-resistive sensing to measure the inductive magnetic fields created as energy flows through the meter box and into the home. This type of sensing was first popularized for consumer use in smartphones, where it was used to sense the magnetic field of the earth for the compass app. Glow’s sensor sends energy data wirelessly to the in-home unit where it is processed and sent to Glow’s cloud service.
Glow analyzes a home’s energy use data to understand how and when it uses energy. If it’s using more than normal, Glow turns amber, then red. When a home is saving money, Glow turns green. And if there is extended high usage, like if someone accidentally left the oven on or the fridge door open, Glow sends a helpful push notification to the user’s phone. Users can also set a monthly goal for the energy bill and Glow helps them stay on track.
Why Glow Matters
Over the past 15 years, the price of energy has consistently outpaced inflation. Meanwhile, America’s residential homes, on average, waste almost 40% of the energy that their occupants pay for. These factors translate into energy costs for mainstream consumers that more than two thirds (68%) say they feel is exorbitant.
Showing energy use via a device like Glow (often referred to as an In-Home Display or IHD) has been shown to be more engaging than web or app-only interfaces for the same data and can lead to savings of 10% or more. Real-time energy feedback also appears to be more compelling to the user than smart meter interval data, which is often delayed 1 hour or more, or disaggregated data from machine learning.
Additionally, in light of America pulling out of the Paris Agreement, it is more important than ever for individuals to make personal efforts to reduce their impact on the environment. Reduced energy use directly correlates to a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from energy production.
Glow is an easy first step that consumers can take towards combating waste, high cost, and the environmental impact of energy production.
“Glow puts homeowners in charge of their energy usage. By understanding when they’re using energy, they can save money and help the environment at the same time.” — Ben Lachman, Co-founder
“I find Glow’s app to be very informative. I check my home’s energy usage multiple times a day, to make sure that everything is in order. I was able to achieve levels of less than 250W total usage when no one was home”. – Michele Migliuolo, Ph.D.
- Founded in 2014 with the goal of developing an energy monitoring solution for mainstream Americans that was safe to install and easy to use.
- Potential Labs is located in Athens Ohio, a college town and small hub for green tech in Ohio. Athens is home to Stirling engine and cryocooler research along with two of Ohio’s oldest solar installers.
- Potential Labs plans to manufacture Glow in the USA with a focus on keeping manufacturing partners as local as possible. Their goal is to bring the maximum positive effect to their economically depressed region of Appalachian Ohio.
- Glow aims to integrate with other smart home devices such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, Nest, and others.
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Ben Lachman (Co-founder, CEO)
Ben has been building software for Apple platforms for the past 15 years. He’s started two small software companies (Acacia Tree Software and Nice Mohawk Limited), and his apps have been used by millions worldwide. Ben got interested in energy efficiency after having a Solar PV system installed on his first home in 2009. [email protected]
Robin Kinney (Co-founder, CTO)
Robin is an electrical engineer and manager with 25 years of experience in the Silicon Valley medical device industry. His past experience covers research, development, and software quality management. Robin was part of the team that produced the first fetal pulse oximeter used during labor and delivery. Over the past 10 years, Robin has been active in the energy monitoring space, as well as doing energy efficiency work with nonprofits in Southeast Ohio. [email protected]
Karen Davis (CFO)
25+ years of experience helping companies achieve objectives. Multiple CFO positions in addition to management roles in accounting & VC firms.
Andrew Cantino, MS CS (Technical Advisor)
Software guy. Previously Principal Engineer at Hightower, Chief Architect at Mavenlink, Consultant at Pivotal Labs. Background in physics, machine learning, & web security.
Eric Marcoullier (Advisor)
Product guy. Original mentor at TechStars Boulder. Past startups: IGN, MyBlogLog (acquired by Yahoo), Gnip (acquired by Twitter) & OneTrueFan (acquired by BigDoor).
Dr. Kirk Rowe, Ph.D. (Advisor)
USAF Lt. Colonel & Board Certified Clinical Neuropsychologist with experience in behavioral psychology and work on energy efficiency with the Air Force.
Get the press release.