Some of you may have already seen the Hohm site – but if you haven’t you can take a look over at www.microsoft-hohm.com (and sign up while you’re there.) I’d also recommend taking a look and possibly subscribing to the team blog – http://blog.microsoft-hohm.com.
So why the blog post? Well lots of people saw what Hohm is about – letting you know your energy usage and allowing you to plan and optimize what you’re using (which is pretty critical as I type this and look at my weather station readings – 107.32F right now.) This helps us survive the bills and the weather and our power grid survive the demand load that summers generate with record breaking heat and expanded populations in the hotter parts of the country.
But there was something in the announcement that I don’t know that a lot of people caught. That was this line in the release – “… if you are a customer of a Hohm-partnered utility company you can choose to automatically upload your energy usage data into the application in the near future.” Hmmm. Now that’s interesting. I was hoping for something like this eventually, but it sounds like the feedback loop of our “Smart Power Grid” efforts are actually starting to come about in the real world! Now that’s progress!
BTW, why did I put this also under Robotics? Because that feedback loop that’s starting to happen is exactly what mobile robots have to do all the time. Not just send instructions on power consumption, but monitor usage, monitor needs, prioritize, and then manage that consumption to goal. Lots of crossover opportunities.