You are right. There should be more features added to make the investment into smart meters useful. But smart meters just measure the actual or cumulated power and store or provide this information. What you (or the electrical company) are doing with this information is completely up to you. A smart meter, even if the name doesn't make it obvious, is just a stupid metering device. It must be combined with smart home features, see last sentence of the article.
Smart meters available in the market currently serve half the purpose. The industry is developing and we are yet to see meters that are really useful on both ends - to one who has installed at their homes and also to the utility company.
The meter should serve more than just a unit reader. It should give predictions on bills, energy usage, show history, control appliances (via phone, laptop and other smart devices), of course show time, have radio playing, view family photos and many more. It should be an integral part of the daily lives or else it would just serve as a part of kitchen drawer.
Better examples can be viewed at: http://www.slssmarthome.com
While many smart meters may be wireless, they can also work through other systems that do not require use of very valuable bandwidth, or the use of excessive amounts of radiated power. We can hope that the proper ones will be deployed to improve things for all of us.
How can they be wireless meters when they are plugged into the main lines coming into my house? I don't see any advantage to having a smart meter. They installed one on my house about a year ago. Nothing for me. I guess it is easier for them to read the meter.
What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.