Wi- Fi smart plug to connect with users
A GROUP of Townsville investors might have hit the jackpot with the invention of a fairly simple Wi- Fi enabled smart plug that alerts people to power failures.
Certainly, they are about to find out with the sales launch this week of what is called a Power Outage Alert System or PWRON in New Zealand and Australia.
“We have had interest from big buying groups,” PWRON co- founder Tim Pellegrino said.
“One of the major national retailers wants to take us on. ( But) we want to crawl before we fly.”
They have created a website ( pwron. com. au), started online sales and have posted some testimonials from supportive businesses including Townsville Grammar School, Terry White Chemists Townsville and Domino’s Pizza.
Launchzone operator Adam Lam, Odyssey on the Strand restaurateur Neal Duff and Mr Pellegrino are behind the venture.
“We have all been business owners,” Mr Pellegrino said.
“All of us have had a fridge go on the blink in the night and gone in the next morning and found all the product ruined.
“It’s something every business owner has gone through.”
The light bulb moment came during an electricity blackout in South Australia last year.
“We came up with the idea in one night, thrashed out what we were going to do and went to work,” Mr Pellegrino said.
“We found a local electrical engineer and programmer, and built the prototype.”
The smart plug sits between the wall socket and appliance and automatically sends an alert via SMS and email to your phone or device when a power failure occurs.
You need a Wi- Fi connection but there is no need for an app or batteries.
Just how big a market there is for PWRON remains to be seen but one potential distributor asked if they could supply 100,000 units in the first year.
A unit is retailing for $ 89 with a $ 3 weekly monitoring fee.
Pharmacies, schools, daycare centres, medical centres, hospitals and households will be likely customers: anybody who wants to know whether their fridge or fishtank is not working.
Mr Pellegrino said as far as they could tell there was nothing like their product on the market.
“Obviously we want to be multimillionaires ... We are practical. Realists. I think we are still in that period where we are just excited to take our product to market.”