One trend I believe will pick up steam in 2010 is technologies and alliances that bring the current home broadband infrastructure and the emerging smart grid infrastructure closer together. After all, as more homes embrace high-speed Internet access (wired OR wireless), it makes sense that smart meters and other smart grid devices communicate via what is already in place.
Anticipating this convergence of interests, iControl Networks has come out with a platform called ConnectedLife Energy Management. The technology, which is intended for broadband operators, utility companies and other service providers, will allow for the development of demand response systems and other energy-efficiency services. The company expects Connected Life Energy Management to be commercially available to consumers sometime in 2010. It would allow for applications such as scheduled energy usage that is tailored to meet certain efficiency or carbon footprint goals.
Here are some of the consumer-level applications that will be possible:
- Real-time energy usage monitoring
- Remoted management of thermostats from an Internet browse, iPhone or other mobile phones
- Automation applications that, for example, would let you set up thermostat configurations for your air-conditioning or heating systems
- Ability to manage your account against certain cost parameters