Sounds like the smart grid partnership between search engine Google and conglomerate General Electric could still deliver some real products, according to remarks from GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt at the Web 2.0 Summit on Tuesday evening. “We will see more collaboration between GE and Google around the home,” said Immelt and that could include actual products “coming in the near future.”
Earlier this year, after an interview with GE’s VP of Ecomagination division Steve Fludder, we reported that the smart grid partnership between Google and GE could result in a commercial product. But eight months later, and after an announcement from GE about their own smart home energy software product, we were starting to doubt if that was really going to happen.
But hey, if we’re hearing it from the big man himself, some sort of product is likely in the pipeline for the duo. During his remarks at the Web 2.0 event, Immelt called the emerging energy business “one of the real growth industries of the next decades” and said GE probably has 15-20 investments, with 5-10 percent stakes each, in energy-focused startup companies.
What would I expect in terms of a Google/GE product? Probably a version of GE’s Home Energy Manager hardware and software product that is compatible with Google home energy management software PowerMeter. That wouldn’t be too exciting, given Google has already signed up its first gadget maker the Energy Detective, but it would be a start.