Integrating the cloud, home automation, IoT, utility smart meters & energy based video games

By: Tom D. Tamarkin July 25, 2016

Key words: Cloud ∙ Energy ∙ Fusion Power ∙ Home Automation ∙ Internet of Things (IoT) ∙ Smart Meters ∙ Video Games

A recent JD Powers performance survey notes “electric utility providers continue to struggle to match other industries in customer satisfaction.” The survey further notes that customer engagement through digital devices can significantly enhance customer satisfaction and increase the utility’s trustworthiness in the eyes of its customers.

A significant business opportunity exists to work with utility companies to allow them to develop strong enterprise specific branding programs by providing real-time power cost and usage data to their customers via smart phones and the like.  In so doing a market channel is built leveraging off the utility’s unbreakable bond with its customers.  Internet of Things (IoT) energy sensors and control products can be sold through this channel.  Recurring revenue producing business strategies can be implemented.

Our white paper, “Smart Energy – Smart Home; cloud based consumer home automation for electricity, water, and gas management” describes the smart meters hardware attributes which include a ZigBee standard compliant transceiver for local 2 way data communications.  Best practices from a topology standpoint are summarized and a moving forward plan is offered.

Action oriented energy games such as the PowerMasters™ games series can be offered as smart phone apps which draw migration to game platforms such as the Xbox which can also serve as the home automation controller utilizing “cloud” based computational analytics based on user lifestyles.  Gamers can access energy related data bases from the cloud and engage in energy competitions with other gamers.

Furthermore energy based video games can help develop an awareness of how energy is generated and where it comes from.  A current article shows that the U.S. government is has committed $4.5 billion USD to build out the electric vehicle infrastructure.   The attendant increase in the production and use of electric vehicles will strain our generation capacity.  Whereas much emphasis has been placed on “renewables” such as solar, these can only provide a very small percentage of baseload power.  As an example we have done a detailed analysis of using solar to supply 100% of baseload power and it does not appear practical.

Emphasis and urgency needs to be placed on the next generation of nuclear power sources. Fission today and fusion by mid to late century.  A recent article by Dr. Scott Hsu of Los Alamos National Labs provides his thoughts on the subject.  It is important that the public, our politicians, and private sector entrepreneurs understand the urgency which Dr. Hsu suggests is of little urgency today.  Well-developed video games can do this.

Watch President Obama on Smart Meters



As featured in
washington post

Why 50 million smart meters still haven’t fixed America’s energy habits

Five years ago came the promise: A great new way of saving money on your energy bills was on its way. An impressive new device called a “smart meter” — a key component of the much touted “smart grid” — would let consumers actually see how much power they’re using in their homes, thus empowering them to change their habits and slash their bills.

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