Launching a website last week showcasing its Home Dashboard Concept, Intel has announced that it is ready to enter the home energy management sector (apple’s energy management solution). This emerging niche already has biggies like Panasonic, Google, Apple, and Microsoft making forays into it.
Apple has already applied for two patents for a home energy management application – in which an Apple device connected to the main power line will direct the power consumption at all outlets. Consumers can track their power use and get tips to reduce power consumption on an LCD, according to the patent.
Microsoft is offering the Hohm application that allows customers online access to bills and real-time snapshots of power consumption. However, you need to install specialized smart-meters for the Hohm. Google has its PowerMeter, that disseminates power-usage information to users to help them devise ways of cutting down on their power bills. It releases this data through partners that make smart meters such as Energy Inc. – makers of the home-monitoring utility, The Energy Detective (TED).
Intel’s Home Dashboard Concept will act as a hub to manage and monitor power devices that are connected to it with smart plugs. This device is also a WiFi hub, and can get energy guidelines from the Internet directly. Moreover, it has profiles such as “Away” that automatically puts everything on standby and turns down the thermostat.
Even though it is still at the concept level, the design released by Intel promises to be more sophisticated and advanced than the existing products, such as the TED. However, the big question that remains is the price tag that the company is going to put on it – and how much consumers are willing to pay for technology that saves power to save money.