10 technologies to watch in 2011
12/15/2010 1:01 AM EST
Personal power management puts you in charge
"The goal of giving every household and business access to timely, useful and actionable information on their energy use" was the focus of a recent open letter to President Obama from GE, Google, Intel, Honeywell, Whirlpool and 42 other companies. "By giving people the ability to monitor and manage their energy consumption, for instance, via their computers, phones or other devices . . . we can harness the power of millions of people to reduce greenhouse gas emissions—and save consumers billions of dollars," the companies told the President.
Google already has a free downloadable app, the PowerMeter, that can monitor overall energy consumption in a home with an installed breaker-box add-on, such as Energy Inc.'s TED (The Energy Detective). Intel is taking the approach one step further by "personalizing" energy management as it once helped personalize computing; the company has crafted a prototype personal-energy monitor that plugs into the wall (instead of the breaker box) and uses artificial intelligence to deduce which appliances in a household are on and how much power they are using.
In 2011, a whole ecosystem of personal power management devices will be announced by Intel, its partners and competitors.
Google PowerMeter and The Energy Detective are all you need to monitor energy usage with your computer or mobile device.
— R. Colin Johnson