Google has announced that it is developing a software utility called PowerMeter to track the energy usage at your home, right from your personalized iGoogle portal. The PowerMeter application can provide real-time, granular data on the energy usage. For example, some of the metrics that can be tracked could be - How much does it cost to leave your TV switched on all day? Which appliance in Home uses more power every month? How does your energy consumption compare to your neighbors?
I read from Wired that similar applications have been attempted in the past. But, the key difference is that Google has enough clout to work with the Hardware manufactures & the Government to make it happen. The Hardware manufacturers produce the ‘SmartMeter’ devices that can interact with Home appliances and wirelessly interact with Google data center. Government can help in standardizing those meter and data formats involved in communication. According to the US Government stimulus plan, 40 million homes are scheduled to get these SmartMeters over the next three years.
I see opportunities for Significant shifts in this initiative:
- This could be the beginning of ‘Internet of Things’ – a beginning where information is extracted from every single real-life object, transmitted and analyzed to produce actionable intelligence.
- This initiative is being implemented from Google.org. So, I am not sure about Google’s business intentions here. But, if they do have, this could be the door-opener for new market altogether – a convergence of Google’s Information Technologies with Automation and Control systems in the Real-world.
- I wish Enterprise IT shops take a lesson from here - If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it – I wish a CIO/IT management dashboard that provides real-time information on budget/value/quality of IT spending!