April 30, 2018
Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. – Success Story: GOEFER Develops “Vampire” Hunting Power Strip
Mike Herod and Jarred Nicholls are vampire hunters, of sorts. They target the sneaky, power-sucking drain of electronic devices – such as game consoles, printers, televisions, and appliances – that silently siphon energy out of homes and businesses. Now, they are recruiting early adopters to help with development of a new state-of-the-art product that is set to tame the fangs of every plug.
The pair started GOEFER, a small, Frederick-based technology company, in August 2016. They moved into the Frederick Innovative Technology Center Inc. (FITCI) the following month. Herod, a veteran Building Sustainability consultant and adjunct professor of sustainability at Arizona State University online, explains the issue. “The average home wastes $165 a year on electricity,” especially noting the multitude of glowing indicator lights that shine through the night. “That is called the vampire load.”
GOEFER’s first product is a smart power strip engineered to capture 20,000 data points per hour, allowing users easy tracking and management of their connected energy footprint via an iOS app. Herod says, “Our research shows that more than half of all electricity flows through a plug and almost half of that is wasted or inefficient. Think of the volume of things we have plugged in around our homes and offices. Department of Energy predicts our connection with power cords and plugs is growing, in fact it will increase by 49% before 2030.”
“We are looking for pioneers,” says Herod. For a limited time, GOEFER is offering their first limited batch of 15-amp power strips for $66 to like-minded individuals who want greater control and understanding of their energy use. Each strip accommodates six plugs and three USB chargers. Herod and Nicholls will work with primary customers, offering one-to-one instruction to maximize results and log user feedback on all aspects of the device and interactive software. “Think about being one of the first people to get a NEST thermostat or the new iPhone 4.”
Owners can organize devices by zone or category, such as grouping all televisions together. Herod gives an example of how the product’s analytics can add future value, “Imagine when you go to buy a new TV, open the GOEFER app to see how the TV in your master bedroom compares to the one in your living room. Which TV is more efficient? That can help in the decision-making process.” Likewise, users could program a light to come on in place of a blaring alarm clock or set the TV in a child’s room to shut down at a certain hour.
Two hundred of the first 500 power strips are claimed so far. Potential participants can sign up at GOEFER.com. The Android version is expected to debut in June. The duo is also developing wall outlets and light switches to complement the power strips.
FITCI CEO, Kathie Callahan Brady is impressed with Herod’s and Nicholls’ dedication to building a safe and sustainable future. “They’ve done so much in such a short time, it’s easy to forget that this is a small, family company. They are passionate about making a positive impact and it shows.” GOEFER recently moved into FITCI’s new location at 118 N. Market St. in Frederick, Root.