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Published on April 4th, 2009 | by Jennifer Kho

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Startups Eager to Tap Into Google PowerMeter Platform May Not Have Long to Wait

April 4th, 2009 by  

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/RrP94IGtF-E&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]

Google only announced its PowerMeter smart-meter platform in February (see our posts on the announcement here, here and here). But some startups are already chomping at the bit to access the platform.

In fact, two of the startups that presented at Earth2Tech’s Green:Net conference last week specifically said they are interested in using PowerMeter when it becomes available.

Visible Energy CEO Marco Graziano told me this week that the company is “definitely interested” in using the Google platform and making the related applications available to its customers. Visible Energy is developing power strips that automatically record the electricity consumption of appliances plugged into them and enable users to manage and control their energy usage remotely.

And Adaptive Meter, which is developing an energy game based on players’ smart-meter information, is certainly considering it, along with other possible platforms from Fat Spaniel Technologies, SmartSynch and others. The startup even included a superhero wearing the letter “G” in its introductory comic. (In the comic, the character says “If they cannot measure it, they cannot improve it,” a clear reference to Google.org’s Energy Information page, which is headed by Lord Kelvin’s quote, “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.”)

All this indicates quite sign of confidence considering that PowerMeter hasn’t yet launched and other platforms, such as the aforementioned open platform from Fat Spaniel, already exist. But the search giant has simply enormous cache, even when it enters a new sector.

And startups hoping to design applications for the new platform may not have long to wait to get some answers. In a video posted today, Tom Sly, a Google team member on the PowerMeter project, told Earth2Tech’s Katie Fehrenbacher that Google could launch the PowerMeter this year and said the team wants to work with all device manufacturers. “It certainly doesn’t further our goal to tie ourselves to one specific party,” he said, later adding that the platform will be free to the public.

Image courtesy of Adaptive Meter. 
 
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About the Author

-- With more than nine years of reporting experience, Jennifer Kho has been covering green technology since 2004, when she started the cleantech beat at Red Herring magazine. She wrote for Red Herring until 2007, when she helped launch the Greentech Media site as its founding editor. She left Greentech Media in November. Her stories have appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and TheStreet.com. She also regularly contributes to Earth2Tech.



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