Intel has released its reference design for an interactive panel that is meant as a multifunction universal control panel for your home.
Based on my past conversations with the company about the concept, I know that Intel is pitching the technology as a way for utility operators and device manufacturers to enable homeowners manage myriad applications, including energy usage and video surveillance. Basically, you will be able to download the applications you need to the device, such as an energy monitor or a weather information module, from an application store.
The technology is based on the Intel Atom processor Z6xxx series and an Intel Platform Controller Hub MP20. It was designed to use very little power itself and includes what Intel calls its Burst Performance Technology, which means the panel can provide extra performance for short periods of time, depending on the ambient temperature of its surroundings. The panel design includes a DDR2 memory controller that is expandable up to 2 gigabytes.
Should be intriguing to see who picks this one up, considering all the large technology companies that are circling the home energy space. But I still have a hard time believing that the average person is going to be as active about managing their home energy usage as some of these technology designs suggest.