Trender Research™

Technology meets people.

With a new round of funding, Control4 is expanding their platform for the home by adding energy monitoring for you to control energy consumption and entertainment on one box. The company already offers a networked thermostat, the Control 4 Wireless Thermostat that allows people to control temperature settings. Early next year, with new funding, the company plans to include smart meters, which have two-way communications built in, into the home-area network. That integration will allow consumers to monitor their energy use in real time and find ways to save money, according to Control4. Also, Control4's system will allow people to program thermostats, lights, and big energy consumers like pools, according to the company. Salt Lake City based, Control4 is well known as the operating system for the connected home with control software/hardware for any room or building with devices networked via Zigbee or Wi-Fi connections. The company recently expanded their technology into the hotel industry providing primary technology for automating managing settings directly through the television interface. One of their investors is Best Buy.
There are a number of monitoring products, like Power Meter by Google, that is web-based used to show real time energy usage and details like how much energy appliances consume. Consumers are now more conscious of their energy consumption and taking control of reducing their consumption. With the Control4 model, consumers can set their preferences to keep the energy use down. Don’t wait for the utility companies to set a standard or kill their cash cow. They appear to be going for the ZigBee power line solution for smart meters and demand side devices. Microsoft has moved into this space with their new Holm initiative. Consumers are taking the lead now.

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Comment by Brian Mahony on July 15, 2009 at 1:30pm
Ellen, great post. I have always wondered why we don't all have a way to measure power consumption in real time. In this day of being energy conscious, it makes a lot of sense. Until now, I can only look at how I compared to last month or the year before. There is no good way for me to figure out if the dehumidifier, "vampire" DVR, HDTV, fridge, or other device is the biggest energy sucker.

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