Griddles are extremely convenient to have set up and ready to go. Just turn it on, crack an egg or whip up some pancake batter, and off you go. The flat, evenly heated cooking surface will do the rest. Another convenient appliance is the slow cooker. Again, minimal amount of work is required: place protein, veggies, spices, and liquid in the pot and wait (after turning it on, that is). If only the two appliances were combined.
If ever there was a business that needed a dash of flash from the world of consumer electronics, it's energy.
At the 2010 International CES this week, companies from different corners of industry will be showing off gadgets and services they hope will make home energy management more attractive. The idea is that providing consumers and small businesses with detailed usage information and easy-to-use tools, they will be able to reduce energy consumption on the order of 10 percent to 20 percent.
Among the companies introducing home energy management systems are Whirlpool and energy retailer Direct Energy, which will … Read more
A group of companies at the Consumer Electronics Show plan to show off a networked home energy management system for reducing consumer energy bills.
The demonstration will include network-aware appliances from Whirlpool, a two-way thermostat from Lennox, and a touch-screen central control point made by OpenPeak.
Energy retailer Direct Energy plans to test out the combination with about 40 homes in the Houston area in an effort to entice consumers to use tools to ratchet down their home energy use. Best Buy's Geek Squad will do installation of the home network system.
Adjusting how appliances are run can save $… Read more
For grid-aware appliances to deliver on the promises of the smart grid, electricity rates needs to be overhauled, according to appliance makers.
The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) on Monday released a white paper (click for PDF) outlining what it called the requirements for smart grid acceptance. The release of the paper was timed for the same week that international climate negotiations are going on in Copenhagen.
Smart grid technology, including so-called smart appliances, have the ability to help consumers cut their electricity use and shave their utility bills--but only if three pieces fall into place, according to AHAM. … Read more
Surprises can be fun, but not when it comes to bills. Electronic Housekeeper, a CES newbie, has made it possible for homeowners to monitor their water, gas, and electricity. Knowing which devices are draining the most energy and who's taking the long showers might be the first step toward lower energy bills.
After selling its products in Europe and the Middle East, Denmark-based Electronic Housekeeper will bring its innovations to North America. The company has created a wall-mountable console that communicates wirelessly with electronics, appliances, heating, air conditioning, as well as water and electricity meters.
Monitoring household appliances and … Read more
Many companies are investing in the green market by creating energy efficient appliances, but those new devices tend to be pricey. Besides, why replace something that still works? Tenrehte Technologies, a start-up located in Rochester, NY and Austin, TX, would like to help people reduce the power consumption of products they already own.
PICOwatt, Tenrehte's first product, allows consumers to turn off any appliance with just a few clicks. Appliances plugged into the device are controlled by the consumer via Wi-Fi. Energy usage, timers, and power are all controlled with a smartphone or computer. For example, instead of using … Read more
Correction at 2:33 a.m. PDT November 12: This story incorrectly stated the name of the wireless communications technology used by AlertMe. The system uses ZigBee.
The Wi-Fi Alliance has formed a task group to determine what standards need to be modified to ensure Wi-Fi is the tool of choice for smart-grid applications.
The nonprofit industry association that approves devices for the Wi-Fi Certified seal released a report Wednesday called "Wi-Fi for the Smart Grid: Mature, Interoperable, Security-Protected Technology for Advanced Utility Management Communications." The report expounds on all the possibilities for Wi-Fi as a communication tool … Read more
Appliance manufacturer Whirlpool has received $19.3 million in U.S. Department of Energy funding as part of its Smart Grid Investment Grant program, the company announced Thursday.
Whirlpool, which markets appliances under the brand names Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, and Bauknecht, joins General Electric in what seems to be a quest for designing the most well-behaved appliances.
Similar to GE's smart-appliance ambitions, Whirlpool plans to develop home appliances that can connect and communicate with municipal smart grids. The machines will be able to receive signals from a smart grid, letting it know of off-peak hours, … Read more
Google claims more than 2 million businesses and 20 million people have switched to Google Apps, a movement the company is touting through its expanding "Gone Google" marketing program.
Google's official blog on Monday put in a plug for the ongoing flow of companies that have adopted its services, including not just Google Apps, but also the Postini spam filtering and Google's Enterprise Search Appliance.
Through … Read more
The debate over single-function server appliances versus general-purpose servers is a long-standing one.
Appliances first came onto the scene in the late 1990s during the first Internet boom. They focused on a particular task, such as Web serving, and were designed to be ready to install with minimum muss, fuss, or skill. This assembly line approach to server farms was to be the secret sauce that made possible infinite growth without infinite IT staff.
Cobalt Networks was perhaps the best known and most sophisticated of the companies to offer appliances. Sun Microsystems later acquired Cobalt and then failed to successfully … Read more