Intel has created a web site for its Intelligent Home Energy Management Proof of Concept. In its current incarnation, the device is a beautiful, wall-mounted Atom-based device that allows a homeowner to view and control various home-tech-related displays and dashboards. It’s being promoted as primarily a home energy monitoring tool, with real time and historical reports on energy usage. Even the clock feature has an in-line graph displaying current home energy usage. Being a home automation enthusiast, though, I’m more excited about this device’s potential as the interface to the home’s nerve center.Along with the energy monitoring, there’s also a “smart thermostat” option. This could be a very useful feature because using programmable thermostats is a very easy way to save energy. They’re inexpensive, but a lot of people don’t get full value from them because programming them is a pretty arcane process. I think a friendlier, touchscreen interface that walks people through the process might encourage more adoption.
Adaptors to the home’s existing systems and appliances can enable a “home dashboard” to let the user see the status and control their operation. This could include home monitoring (security, fire), lighting control, monitoring the status of appliances. Whatever kind of home control components you’re going to have, you need some way to interface with them, and this device is about the slickest way of doing that I’ve seen yet.
A very handy feature of this proof-of-concept are the widget-type “extendable applications” such as weather, mapping, package tracking, yellow pages, recipes, memos, photos, etc that could be configured for the household.