A leaking pipe in your home can not only cause significant damage to property and its structure, they can also cost you thousands of dollars in repairs – especially if the leak remains undetected for weeks or months. To illustrate this point, imagine that a build-up of water causes a bathroom pipe to split while you are out of the house. By the time you return hours later, the bathroom is flooded and you have hours of stress and a large bill ahead.
Enter Wally, the smart home sensing solution designed to bring an end to slow leaks and unforeseen plumbing emergencies in the home. Wally uses the walls and wiring already in place within your home to create a network of sensors. It alerts users of everything from water leaks to changes in humidity and temperature levels.
Wally is the brainchild of successful Seattle-based entrepreneur, Jeremy Jaech, whose illustrious career includes founding tech companies, Aldus (a desktop publishing software company which was acquired by Adobe) and Visio (a diagramming application later acquired by Microsoft).
Jaech told Seattle Business that 14 million American homeowners reported $11 billion in property losses due to water leaks, mold and ice. “Wally provides peace of mind to homeowners,” said Jaech. “If we can set a model for what is normal in your home, we can tell you when it’s not normal.”
Jaech’s home automation company, SNUPI (Sensor Network Utilising Powerline Infrastructure) Technologies partnered with the University of Washington and the Georgia Institute of Technology to develop the Wally device and the project recently received $7.5 million in investment to help make the prevention gadget a reality.
One of the major selling points behind the Wally concept is that is it easy to home install and easy to use. Requiring virtually no maintenance with a 10 year battery life, the system uses the existing wiring in the home to transmit data to a person’s computer or mobile.
The eyes and ears of Wally are a set of futuristic low-power sensors that are placed throughout your home at potential leak or flood points. A central hub collates the data from the sensors, and makes it available over the internet to smartphones and tablets. This allows constant monitoring of your home, and keeps it safe from water damage.
Wally Set Up and Features
The Wally home management system is fast and easy to install. Most households will be able to get the system up and running in less than an hour. First, connect the hub to the internet, and sync. Then place Wally’s sensors throughout your house at hazard prone places, such as water heaters and washing machines.
Once properly connected, Wally will remain constantly alert and sensing, working silently and around the clock to monitor the status of your home. When Wally detects a problem, it sends a detailed, specific alert to your smartphone or tablet that lets you know what the issue is, and where is in your home.
Where to Purchase and Cost
With a price tag of $299USD, the Wally package includes the hub, six sensors, a power and Ethernet cord. Additional sensors can be bought for $35 each.
There is no subscription fee for monitoring your home, likewise, there is no cost should an alert be sent to your inbox or phone.