Automating and controlling devices and energy usage in homes has potentially become a bit easier thanks to an integration between Span, the startup making a digital fusebox replacement, and Amazon’s voice recognition interface, Alexa. The integration also comes with a $20 million new cash infusion from Amazon’s Alexa Fund and the massive insurance company Munich Re Ventures’ HSB Fund. Through the Alexa integration, homeowners using Span’s electrical panels can turn on or off any circuit or appliance in their home, monitor which appliances are using power, and determine which electrical source is generating the most power for a home.
Questions like “Alexa, ask Span what is consuming the most power right now?” will get a response. According to Span chief executive Arch Rao, the Alexa integration opens up new opportunities for homeowners to integrate their devices and appliances because of the connection to the home’s wiring.
Rao sees the Alexa integration as a way for Span to become the home automation hub that tech companies have been promising for a long time. “There are far too many devices in the hoe today… with too many apps,” Rao said. “The advantage we have is, once installed, we’re persistent in the home and connected to everything electric in the house for the next 30 to 40 years. In addition to monitoring energy usage and output, Alexa commands could turn off the power for any device or switch that a homeowner has programmed into the system.