Teen’s Energy-Saving Home Automation Device Now on Kickstarter

May 5, 2015

4:30 pm

Back in January, we reported on teenager Ameer Sami and his energy-saving home automation device, Ottomate, which would allow consumers to control their appliances and lights simply with the use of their smartphones. A few months later, and it seems that Sami has gone beyond just being a mere teen inventor (“mere” not intended to lessen his impact); rather, he’s become full-fledged teen entrepreneur, turning Ottomate into a company and renaming his device the Ottobox. And, now, the Ottobox is running a Kickstarter campaign to help bring the device to market.


The Ottobox is a small plug-in hardware that has the potential to reduce energy bills by up to 50 percent. By plugging in certain appliances or lights into the smart device, the Ottobox can turn on or turn off those devices when and if you need or don’t need them. In the end, it eliminates the need to use phantom electricity (the electricity that still runs when those things are turned off, but still plugged in), and cuts the overall costs of your energy expenses.

Similar to devices smart home devices provided by the likes of Nest and SmartThings, the Ottobox offers a cheaper alternative to automating home devices. At $79 per unit, it’s significantly cheaper than similar products offered through Nest and SmartThings. Additionally, it offers more features. Through its “cense” technology, the Otterbox automatically learns your habits and schedule, enabling things like the coffee machine powering on when you walk into the kitchen in the morning.

Since last writing about Sami and Ottomate, he has assembled a team to help him get the Ottobox off the ground. Their Kickstarter campaign has 16 days left to reach their goal of $50,000.

Visit Ottomate’s Ottobox Kickstarter campaign.


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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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