Meet the new Watty box — Design-hack story

Hello!

It’s been a while since we announced the launch of our product, at SLUSH in Helsinki and we wanted to update you about our progress. First of all, a big thank you for everyone who helped us spread the word about our announcement in December. We received good media coverage and even got listed as one of the best AI startups of 2016 by one of the biggest tech media outlets in the Nordics.

We started Watty because we wanted to make it easy for people to be aware of and understand their daily energy consumption. Many products have been created to help consumers solve this problem, but so far few have succeeded in being both user-friendly and aesthetically-pleasing. Look at the displays below, designed to give you important information about your energy use.

Typical Energy Meters

Our product will be located inside people’s homes, and even if it will not be as visible as many other home gadgets, we believe it still has to look good. It should be something you would want to have in your home. Do you feel that way about the gadgets above? 
We thought so…

That’s why we made some changes to our hardware, the Watty box, to make it look and work better. We want to share these design changes with you.

The first design announced at SLUSH

We received many positive comments about our design and aesthetics, but when it came to the real world installations, things did not look quite as good as we were hoping. The core design challenge was how to make three clamp cables (or six in the case of solar) look somewhat elegant on the wall.

We wanted to make a statement piece in the category, where many products still do not have the consumer’s design preferences at heart. There had to be a better way, and for a long time, we struggled to find a solution for having three long cables. How could we avoid making a cluttered-mess?

Big challenge! A simple, yet crazy solution…

We’re happy to announce that we solved this problem: The solution is, in fact, very simple, and it is crazy what actually inspired us:

Can one man’s trash become another man’s treasure?
Apples headphone jack (RIP) example

Remember the (discontinued!) headphone jacks? The connector has four segments. Each segment corresponds to a separate signal, typically right, left headphone and ground respectively. Our product also needed three data channels (one per clamp), and we realised that a single thin and beautiful cable like this would actually be enough input for us. So how do you connect the three clamps to a single headphone connector? Enter the headphone divider.
By connecting the clamps to a splitter inside your fusebox the only cabling we need is a single cable going into our device!

Told you it’s a crazy design-hack!

The Watty box has been redesigned based on this new approach and you can see it below:

Please note that we partnered with the Swedish design studio People People to do the industrial design of the Watty box.

Meet the new Watty box design

Left cable is for the clamps, middle is for ethernet (alternative to WiFi) and the right cable is power

Watty box visualised

By putting the electronics on to two separate circuit boards and stacking them, we achieve a smaller product footprint.

Cables shipped with Watty box

From the left: audio cable extender, ethernet cable, power cable, splitter, 3x clamps

With this beautiful design (we know, right!), we believe the Watty box will be in a league of its own and something you would love to have in your home!

Benefits of the revised design

  • Looks good! No more clutter!
  • Flexible. Disconnect the single wire and the power cable, and move your Box.
  • Solar support. With the extra space we now have only two ports for clamps on the Box, but we support 6 clamps through those ports.
  • LED indication of energy use and status on the Watty box (some blink blink)

Some details:

  • 85 x 85 x 31 mm
  • Supports WiFi and Ethernet
  • Connects through the household WiFi
  • Has 180 holes for cooling air flow on two of the sides
  • The Watty box needs to be installed by a certified electrician

We are proud to be able to offer this design at no extra charge than previously announced!

We want to hear from you!
You can connect and chat with us via: 
watty.io
Twitter 
Email

/// Made with Love from Stockholm

The Watty team ❤

The Watty team celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8