23 Comments

Summary:

Another small step for empowered and open access to energy data. Search engine giant Google announced on Wednesday that it has released the API (application programming interface) for its energy tool PowerMeter. Opening up the API means that gadget makers can now freely integrate with PowerMeter […]

Another small step for empowered and open access to energy data. Search engine giant Google announced on Wednesday that it has released the API (application programming interface) for its energy tool PowerMeter. Opening up the API means that gadget makers can now freely integrate with PowerMeter — previously Google had only been working with a small amount of select device manufacturers for PowerMeter like Energy Inc’s The Energy Detective.

Google had been planning on opening up the PowerMeter API since the energy tool’s inception a year ago, but the process often takes some time to make sure the tool is ready. Srikanth Rajagopalan, PowerMeter Product Manager, told me in an interview that the PowerMeter API has been ready for awhile but that the team had been collecting and incorporating feedback from the first device partners.

Rajagopalan tells me that Google has put a strong emphasis on security and privacy into the API. For example, there are specific steps for authorizing a home energy device so that it can “talk” to Google PowerMeter. The device makers will also need to educate the end user on how to feel comfortable with connecting the energy data with third parties like PowerMeter, said Rajagopalan.

Google’s decision to release its PowerMeter API is representative of a small number of companies that have moved into the home energy management space from the web and are looking to tap into the innovation of the Internet and the ecosystem of third party developers for energy. Microsoft released its software development kit for its energy tool Hohm to developers recently and is expecting to have the first Hohm-integrated devices this summer. (At our Green:Net conference on April 29 in San Francisco, I’ll be interviewing Ed Lu Program Manager in Advanced Projects for Google and Troy Batterberry Product Unit Manager for Microsoft Hohm, on stage about why the Internet giants are getting into energy. Super saver ticket sales for Green:Net end this Friday).

Energy dashboard makers like Tendril are also offering open APIs that will enable third-party developers to make innovative applications based around energy data. At the AlwaysOn Going Green conference in mid September Tendril CEO Adrian Tuck briefly discussed a computer game that was being built around Tendril’s API that will use a character whose powers will be based on how much energy the players saves in his/her daily life. (Check out my article: The Developer’s Guide to Home Energy Management Apps, GigaOM Pro, subscription required.)

For Google, releasing PowerMeter’s API will hopefully bring in more end users via new gadget partners. PowerMeter only has “a few thousand users at this point” Google told us recently. And opening up the API will also allow third party developers to “innovate in the field,” as Rajagopalan explained it. The mantra of Internet development is that the developer community will be able to create innovation far beyond what the companies can do in house. It will be the same for innovating around energy data.

Related articles on GigaOM Pro:

Broadband Service Providers Are About to Ride the Home Energy Wave

Is Energy Management the Killer App For the Home Automation Market?

Where Not to Make Money: Energy Management Software

  1. Hi Katie,

    I think that the answer to the question “why the Internet giants are getting into energy?,” may be rclosely elated to owning a key modular component, similar to that of the computer industry’s exemplified by the Microsoft Intel (WinTel) arragement. What do you think?

    Best regards,

    José Antonio

    Share
    1. Please read “rclosely elated” as “closely related.”

      Share
    2. It’s all about the data, not the hardware or the infrastructure. Tapping into how people use energy is as valuable as tapping into what people search for on the search engine. Once you capture energy readings you can infer from the energy pattern when people are home (or on vacation) or watching TV or cooking. It’s like an an EKG for your home.

      Share
  2. If you mean “a key modular component” being an energy platform? Than yeah I agree.

    Share
    1. Thanks Katie for your reply.

      In the case of Google PowerMeter and Microsoft Hohm (very close to home) it seems that they may be trying to develop a platform with an intuitive interface to become the owner of dominant architecture of one system module.

      However, at this time, I don’t discount the emergence of other critical control points that are not platforms, even in the above case. In the case of Wintel, while Windows operating system certainly classifies as a computer platform, the Intel microprocessor is also a key modular component that I think is not a platform.

      Share
  3. [...] Tech Blitz on Mar.03, 2010, under All Technology Google Releases API for Energy Tool Power Meter By Katie Fehrenbacher :Energy Tool Power Meter, Google, Google releases API for Energy Tool [...]

    Share
  4. [...] Google Releases API for Energy Tool PowerMeter [...]

    Share
  5. [...] Google Releases API f&#959r Energy Tool PowerMeter [...]

    Share
  6. [...] Google Releases API for Energy Tool PowerMeter [...]

    Share
  7. [...] Google Releases API for Energy Tool PowerMeter [...]

    Share
  8. [...] Google Releases API for Energy Tool PowerMeter [...]

    Share
  9. [...] Google was hesitant to release the API to the developer community because energy use raises major concerns over both security and privacy (which the search engine certainly can’t afford right now). No one wants their electricity consumption habits broadcast to the general public, obviously. And beyond that, no one wants it to be any easier for hackers, and other third-parties to edit their electricity bills or disrupt their utility service. PowerMeter’s engineers took both of these issues very seriously in the development of the public API, according to Earth2Tech’s interview with product manager Srikanth Rajagopalan. [...]

    Share
  10. Сергей Сергеевич Thursday, March 4, 2010

    Шаг 11. Кажется, всё готово, вот только лицо выдаёт Вашу отдалённость от ада. По этому, необходимо получить отражение пламени на лице. Для этого создаём новый слой «Front fire_3» или дублируем слой «Back Fire». Уменьшаем непрозрачность приблизительно до 70-80. И настраиваем «Режим», который находиться на панели «Слои». Я, например, использовала «Умножение».

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post