The first, fully functional computer was invented 73 years ago. It weighed as much as thirty sedans, stopped working half the time, and performed arithmetic at the exceptional level of a grade school calculator. We were all very impressed.
A few generations later, every aspect of computing has been improved. Global connectivity lies in the literal palms of our hands, and automation has affected on every corridor of modern professional life. Our electronic infrastructure is the blood of industry, of commerce, of health, and it seems that every few years, revolutionary change sweeps the system in its entirety.
OR DOES IT? DESPITE THE INNOVATION IN THE ELECTRONIC SPACE, NOT EVERYTHING HAS PROGRESSED. AMID THIS GRAND EVOLUTION, ONE FACTOR, ONE INNOCUOUS LITTLE PIMPLE OF A MACHINE ELEMENT HAS SNUCK UNDER THE RADAR FOR OVER A HUNDRED YEARS.
Nestled in the corners of almost every room are electrical outlets. You see hundreds over the course of the day, quietly thrumming out power or gaping into space. They are living fossils. The design and capability of the outlet have remained unchanged for over a hundred years, even as computers shrank from living-room-sized monsters to the phones in our pockets. Every electronic device in our lives runs a line to the same piece of analog hardware that powered record players and black-and-white TVs. And once plugged in, who would think to worry whether it is the best way to handle energy delivery, or what we could be wasting, or what could be improved?
At Sapient, we find that unacceptable. Electricity is our most used, most versatile resource, and for every aspect of its application that we don’t understand, monitor, and aim to optimize, kilowatts are falling through the cracks.
Human behavior is not built to optimize invisible resources like we would want to given the chance. Without feedback, and faced with a huge and unquantifiable delivery system, how could we help but waste energy as a product of our habits? We cannot visualize our consumption, and we are blind because of it. We leave devices on, or we leave them plugged in and on standby when it is unnecessary. We cannot boot up a device before we are in the room to use it, so we tend to run them indefinitely. At the facilities level, archaic systems keep power metering at the building level, leaving the floor, room, and device subdivisions completely unknown.
Our mission is to change that. At Sapient, we are working to push the energy grid into the modern age. We seek to build the next generation of standardized and automated energy delivery. Now, unlike only 20 years ago, the tools are finally available to accomplish that. The Sapient system couples machine learning and IoT to eliminate waste and reduce energy costs. Smart outlets and occupancy sensors measure device-level energy consumption and foot-traffic inside your building. Using this data, Sapient’s machine learning core learns human behavior to automate and optimize power delivery to every device.
More people are connected to the electrical grid today than ever before, and that number is only growing. What that means is that more people are plugging into an outdated, wasteful system, and the foundation is feeling the brunt of it. ‘Green’ has become a buzzword, as has ‘sustainability’, stickers tacked onto products to justify or relieve the guilt that comes along with consumption.
The Sapient Team is committed to progress in the very infrastructure of our energy delivery. For over a hundred years, our old energy delivery system did the job. In the twenty-first century, ‘Does the job,’ is nowhere near good enough.
We want to repair how we interact with our power, and to that end, we provide managers and administrators with insight of their energy usage at a level never before available. We are no longer blind to these mishaps, and now we have the tools to manipulate and control. Now is the time to eliminate behavioral waste from our grid. Now is the time to fundamentally alter the way we interact with universal energy.