New open source monitoring company pledges to bring power to the people

People Power pledges an open source approach to consumer smart grid technology.

People Power Co., which is developing wireless energy-monitoring sensors that communicate via an open source wireless network standard, has snagged Series A funding from New Cycle Capital, Seraph Group and several angel investors.

The company is working in conjunction with the University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University on open source applications of these networks for home energy monitoring and energy efficiency. (See the TinyOS page for some ideas.) The devices will communicate via what People Power is calling the Open Source Home Area Network (aka "Ocean"). They will be controlled by a simple Web portal. The company hopes that by using open source, it will be able to get its solutions developed and deployed more quickly.

Here's a statement from the company's founder and CEO Gene Wang (disclosure, Wang is a friend of mine from when I lived in Silicon Valley in the mid-1990s):

"Our solution helps utilities bring the smart grid all the way inside the home, by connecting appliances to a simple-to-install system that automatically cuts power consumption, while giving consumers a simple way to manage their energy budget and share their green achievements with their social network."