The potential of 'smart' technology could finally be realised

Posted: 26th March 2010

The Government’s plans to roll out smart meters to all households by 2020 seems to have given extra impetus to appliance manufacturers in their development of interoperable ‘smart’ devices, as they look to unlock the potential of the smart grid and a connected home.  Until now it seems that the application of this ‘smart’ technology has promised so much, but never actually taken off.  Now, for the first time, the right mix of factors seem to be coming together in such a way as to really kick start the market.

Whirlpool, the white goods giant, has said that by 2015 it wants all of its appliances to be smart grid capable, although it also warned that an open, global standard for transmitting and receiving signals would be required if the technology is to be adopted by the mainstream.

At the moment there are a number of communication protocols being used in the development of interoperable devices, including Zigbee and Z-Wave, and there is concern that standardisation will be needed in order for the market to really take off.  The problem however, is not the number of protocols, rather it is being able to receive information in various protocols and interpret it in a meaningful way, whilst still keeping the full functionality of the devices.

Intamac’s cloud-based platform offers just such a solution, enabling information from devices using differing protocols to be aggregated, and presented back to the user via a single, simple user interface.  The benefit of taking such a flexible approach is choice – something that a consumer will surely hold dear.  With Intamac’s platform, the connected home can be made up of devices using numerous communication standards, leaving the consumer free to pick and choose from a wider array of smart home compatible products, and device manufacturers free to innovate and develop new products without restriction.  The end result is a completely integrated home monitoring and control system, which fully utilises an optimal array of interoperable devices.

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