April 7, 2017
We’re now witnessing the beginning of the “Internet of Things” – also known as IOT. With the development of IOT, home automation technology is becoming a huge developing market. This new technology is gaining more attention by homeowners for not only making life more convenient at home but also for managing energy at home. Homeowners can now easily monitor and manage their own home energy usage, and innovative technologies in this area keep coming on the market. Nest is probably the biggest in the industry, while Apple, Google and Amazon are currently developing their own systems and devices to control the use of home energy. In a nut shell, these home companies are bringing energy efficiency straight to the consumers’ door.
What companies are leading the way in home energy management?
Nest, started in 2009 and bought by Google in 2014, is a provider of design-focused energy management system. The company’s “smart” hardware products, including a thermostat and smoke detector, focuses on combining data and algorithms with home design aesthetics to produce a user-friendly system. Their ‘Works with Nest’ concept connects their devices with other products to control and manage the home customer’s needs.
One of the next steps in home energy management for Nest is that it can combine demand response through their smart devices, saving power and money during peak energy hours. As more homeowners adopt this smart home technology, Nest’s presence within the energy market space will continue to grow.
Another major player in the Home energy Management sphere is Apple. The company’s new centralized ‘Home App’ allows the homeowner control all of its HomeKit products. With Home, you can manage smart devices from one single app. For example, if you were to say “Leaving home,” the system would turn off the lights, lock your doors and lower the temperature in the home, enabling overall energy efficiency! This is awesome.
Amazon, on the other hand, has created an open platform that is far more developer-friendly and more widely compatible. The Amazon Echo has become a key system for controlling smart home devices Amazon’s Alexa Fund nvested in Ecobee, a creator of wifi-enabled smart thermostats – similar to the Nest thermostat. The biggest difference is that the Ecobee thermostat works with temperature sensors placed around the home. The thermostat will adjust the temperature based on readings from those sensors. The Nest thermostat, in contrast, can only take temperature readings from the areas surrounding the device.
Last but not least, there is Google Home. Home is powered by the Google Assistant, which is a new twist on Google’s voice-powered search and Google Now. While Google has not yet opened up Assistant to third-party developers, it does integrate with Nest. In addition to Google Home, Google’s TensorFlow gives your home the ability to learn your behavior and daily routine and can expect when you will need to use a particular device at what time of day. Pretty cool! It’s thought Google will open up Home/Assistant to its developer system, leading to a wide range of applications to fit the continually changing needs of people.
Major and innovative companies are building and developing the “smart home”, which is leading to a growing range of smart home capabilities. While Nest is pushing hard its demand-response initiatives and working directly with utility companies, will other companies seek to provide more energy efficient applications? We believe demand-response truly is the next big step as more homeowners buy smart thermostats and other IOT connected devices.
Call One Touch Media Designs with any of your energy management related questions or to see how we can make living in your home more exciting, modern, and energy efficient.