Smart Grid Coming, But Are Smart Homes?
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While smart grid research and smart meter installations are pushing forward, it looks like the idea of a smart home is falling back.
According to a study released at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, consumers have zippo interest in technology that smartens up their homes. This doesn't mean that research and development of technologies that automate homes will stop. Rather, it's a waiting game for just the right timing - infrastructure needs to be in place, and there has to be a reason for consumers to care. That infrastructure is the smart grid and uniform standards, and that compelling reason is the savings of energy efficiency.
According to Tim Woods, a partner in the consulting firm Poco Labs and an expert in smart-home technology, the government needs to assist in getting a universal smart grid put in place, with smart meters that talk to a home device like a TV or PC so that users can easily see what their energy use is.
The thing is, all this already exists - Agilewaves is a perfect example of a program that fully automates a home. What doesn't exist is mainstream knowledge of the usefulness of these things.
If the government does help spread awareness through mandated smart meter installations and similar initiatives, then smart home technology could easily become accepted - and demanded - by consumers.
It used to be no one wanted a cell phone. Now they're considered a necessity. It could be the same story with smart home technology and energy efficiency.
Via International Herald TribuneMore on Smart Homes:Agilewaves Shows Off User-Friendly Home Energy Monitoring System at WCG 2008 Showhouse3,000 Smart Fridges Hitting UK HomesItron and Tendril Create Dialogue Between Smart Homes and UtilitiesNokia Entering Smart Home Scene with Mobile Phone Project