Can Apple make Home Energy Management sexy?

Apple iPad

Will Apple move into home energy management, and if they do, can they make it sexy and front-of-mind for everyone?

I made this point in a reply to a post earlier on the IBM Global Eco Jam and I thought it could well do with being fleshed out to a full post here to see what others think.

In case you were hiding under a rock yesterday, to tremendous fanfare and hype, Apple launched their latest device, the iPad.

The extremely desirable tablet-like iPad is aimed squarely at the home user market, what with its base price of $499, its beautiful form-factor and its concentration on music, video, games, etc.

While you probably did hear about the iPad, you may not be aware that Apple has lodged a patent application for a Home Energy Management system, joining Google’s PowerMeter and Microsoft’s Hohm.

Apple’s application talks of using powerline communications to control appliances’ energy consumption around the house.

Unlike Google and Microsoft though, Apple have an amazing track record of making sexy devices/applications. If there is anyone who can make home energy management sexy, it would be Apple software running on the iPad.

Let’s hope they make it so – what are the chances?


  1. says

    Managing energy demand has to be a comprehensive system, it has to control very many points of drain to ground, it has to be highly automated and integrated, it has to learn, it has to extensible as to spawn new businesses, and it has to be as easy as thoughtless, because not everybody for the reasonable future is going to be enamored by the early twenty-first century gadgets that now tickle our chinny-chin-chins, or may prefer human sensuality for “sexy.” Personally, I though CB radio was the hounds tooth. “Chchhch. This is Cracker Jack. Hey Honey Dew, you left your headlights on. Thchhch.”

  2. Andy Shrader says

    One of the so-called problems with electric vehicles is teaching consumers to change their ways and get them to plug in their cars, not when they get home from work, when the energy grid is the most over-used and the most expensive, but later on in the evening, which is inconvenient and probably absurd. However, a smart grid plug-in can start charging the car later in the evening, when power use is down. This type of innovation should be able to enable many more sustainable changes across the technology spectrum.
    Bonus points to Apple.

  3. says

    Of course. But is Apple really in the market of wanting to be a frantic tree hugger? I doubt it. Lean and cool I think is their message. Leave the corporates to be mindful of the eco-luvvies that want to do this. Let Apple’s core energy consumption be more important.

  4. says

    Interesting. So Apple wants to introduce powerline communications to integrate and control energy consumption around the house. Man that reminds me of when we used to watch The Jetson’s! Iove technology.