Amber Solutions, the Silicon Valley company that recently introduced a groundbreaking AC/DC enabler and AC switch that makes possible the digital control of electricity in solid-state architecture, is moving closer to making this control a mainstream reality.
The company has signed a letter of intent with revenue and six memorandums of understanding with leading global electronics manufacturers, three of which were signed during the Covid-19 lockdown, to explore product, scoping, development, and contract terms. The company also announced that it has completed and/or is building solid-state-based, full functional demo models or pre-production product for a range of categories that include multi-function capacitive touch smart dimmer switches, smart outlet, and smart, programmable retrofit Din Rail (Europe) and NEMA (U.S.) circuit breakers.
“The combination of our internal and partner aligned development initiatives are re-inventing a foundational technology of modern life that hasn’t changed materially in over 50 years, and this is happening faster than anyone would have thought possible a few short years ago,” said Thar Casey, who is founder, president, and CEO of Amber. “Our partners recognize that Amber’s breakthroughs go far beyond providing new technology option to solving major and costly issues that have affected the industry for years.”
Amber and its partners have the potential to power the wholesale upgrade of every electrical endpoint, in every building, to solid state with embedded intelligence.
“We deliver a first mover advantage for our partners in an addressable market that is worldwide in scope and long overdue for transformation,” Casey said. “We are opening the door to an entirely new area of opportunity for forward-looking investors, electrical products manufacturers, third-party developers, resellers, building architects and developers — as well as end-user customers.”
Amber has secured five patents, with 36 filed to cover both hardware and software innovations. The company has also received UL component-level certification for one of their core breakthroughs.
“Amber’s portfolio of patented technologies is going to disrupt the global electrical and powered products industries by enabling robust integration of advanced artificial intelligence and Internet-of-Things (IoT) connectivity in any electrical product that requires AC to DC conversion or AC switching,” Casey said.
Amber’s core innovation is a programmable solid-state power system, with a clear path to a silicon chip. Amber’s system controls the flow of electricity, digitally enabling the integration of unique intelligence into electrical products and infrastructure. The solution, Amber says, introduces the world to a much safer, more reliable and dramatically smarter functional alternative to the 1970s era electro-mechanical components that are standard in electrical infrastructure products.
“Current industry standards rely on products with mechanical moving parts that can create dangerous electrical arcs and start fires, suffer fatigue and break, or even trip unnecessarily simply because they lack modern machine intelligence,” Casey explained. “Our electrical products partners see tremendous value in that Amber’s native intelligence in solid-state architecture delivers solutions to real-industry problems, such as elimination of nuisance AFCI and GFCI trips, flicker-less LED lights, non-sacrificial surge protection embedded in every powered product and even power cords, arc free electrical safety, robust energy awareness in buildings reducing or even eliminating phantom power, and more.“
Amber-enabled solutions can integrate multiple IoT sensors or tools, digitally regulating power while housing software programs and machine learning algorithms in solid-state architecture. One of Amber’s major benefits for manufacturers and silicon chip makers is that Amber-powered products have native intelligence to manage power dynamically, independent of input or output requirements. For example, Amber can operate with input power from 60 volts to 260 volts, dynamically transforming it to the required output voltage. A single SKU device, Amber says, will work everywhere on earth.
The same core Amber technologies in solid-state deliver a much smaller sized power management system, which opens space for substantially more features in the same standard product footprints, and reducing costs. Every electrical endpoint, including outlets, light switches, lighting cans, bulbs, and more, can become a hyper intelligent IoT node that communicates with the rest of the building’s sensors and smart systems. Each node can provide a more robust variety of functions, as determined by manufacturers or end-users, to deliver far greater value from every electrical socket or switch. Such a whole building sensor and control landscape, integrated within the electrical grid of buildings, complements and dramatically extends the value of residential and commercial smart building systems.
For the building and electrical industries, Amber’s technologies can disrupt every aspect of a project, from government regulations to customer expectations. Some current safety regulations rely on imperfect technologies that do improve safety but, because of imperfect design, often require contractors to roll a truck to determine the problem on site, wasting millions of dollars annually. With Amber’s solid-state control of electricity, these flaws are eliminated, so businesses can eliminate wasted time and provide better value to customers.
Amber’s solid-state solutions are also an order of magnitude safer than current solutions and can disconnect live power up to 3,000 times faster than a physical circuit breaker can trip. Doing so without any moving parts means the risk of fire is essentially eliminated as there is no opportunity for an electrical arc, (common with current circuit breakers and light switches), which can reach more than 30,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, any event taking place on an Amber-powered endpoint is recorded for user tracking and analysis, and has the ability to send push alerts for events such as circuit breaker trips or passing temperature thresholds.
According to Amber, their technologies improve every existing electrical device and system and are designed to be compatible with a wide range of existing automation and control systems. In addition, individual Amber endpoints can be controlled and monitored in real-time through Amber’s cloud service, enabling builders, and owners to also develop their own custom smart home solutions while encouraging better energy usage practices.
Amber’s solution also enables over-the-air updates. If a manufacturer and Amber find a way to improve safety, or reduce energy waste from a product, they can update every existing, installed unit without any construction or product waste. This additionally opens the door to subsequent sales of programming upgrades that enable access to new functions, giving business owners a potential new revenue stream.
“Amber’s achievement is historic in nature and offers the single best opportunity to quickly, safely and affordably upgrade every building’s existing electrical infrastructure to a solid-state architecture with embedded intelligence,” Casey concluded. “Think about what this means for investors, partners, manufacturers and customers. It’s the next great revolution in electricity that would make Thomas Edison proud.”