Technology leader Google has joined the IPSO Alliance, a group of technology companies with the common goal of promoting the Internet Protocol for smart object communications, allowing items ranging from appliances to factories to cars to "communicate" as individuals do over the Internet.
In addition to Google, top IT and technology manufacturing company Fujitsu has joined IPSO, alongside specialty electronics companies Elster Electric, Echelon Corp. and Augusta Systems.
The IPSO alliance now boasts 53 member companies, including Bosch, Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, SAP, Sun Microsystems and Texas Instruments.
"Google’s participation in IPSO is a result of its expectation that many devices will become part of the Internet environment," said Vint Cerf, Google’s Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist. "The IPv4 and IPv6 Internet protocols are well established and used for this purpose. Google’s PowerMeter application makes use of this idea to help Smart Grid users capture and analyze their energy usage information." The Google PowerMeter is a free online tool that allows users to view their homes’ energy usage. In coordination with their energy partners, including TXU Energy and San Diego Gas and Electric, Google is now able to bring real-time energy use information to the consumer, enabling individuals to lower their utility costs and prevent waste.
"The addition of Google, and its PowerMeter service, to the Alliance really completes the Smart Grid circle within IPSO," explained Geoff Mulligan, Chairman of the IPSO Alliance. "Now, not only will consumers be able to use the products and services of IPSO Alliance member companies to connect their home to the grid, they also will be able to monitor how those appliances, and their entire home, are consuming energy." In addition, IPSO’s other new members hail from a wide range of IT, energy and technology-related industries: — Fujitsu, with a presence in over 70 countries, and technology offerings ranging from hard drives to infrastructure support, will help support a wider growth of internet protocol as the standard for smart object communication.
— Echelon Corporation provides infrastructure to Smart Grids by replacing existing stand-alone electricity meters with a network infrastructure that is open, inexpensive, reliable, and proven. In addition to providing backbone products and services, Echelon also provides technology to manufacturers enabling their devices to join the Smart Grid by connecting them to each other, to the electricity grid and to the Internet.
— The Elster Group creates advanced and integrated metering solutions for the gas, electric and water industries. This technology allows utility companies to improve customer service, operations and increase revenue through the use of advanced metering. The company has operations in over 38 countries primarily in the Americas, Europe and Asia.
— Augusta Systems’ configurable technology platforms enables the management of complex monitoring, control, and automation systems, including those used for safety and security, energy and utility management, asset tracking, building management, and other business functions.
The IPSO Alliance recently celebrated its first anniversary. In one short year, the group has established itself as the leading advocate for IP networked devices and synchronicity of physical objects with the Internet. The group was hailed as one of Time Magazine’s "Best Inventions" of 2008 – the report noted, "The organization intends to create a new kind of network that will allow sensor-enabled physical objects — appliances in your home, products in a factory, cars in a city — to talk to one another, the same way people communicate over the Internet." About the IPSO Alliance Intended to complement the efforts of entities such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which develop and ratify technical standards in the Internet community, the IPSO Alliance performs interoperability tests, documents the use of new IP-based technologies, conducts marketing activities and serves as an information repository for users seeking to understand the role of IP in networks of physical objects. IPSO Alliance membership is open to any organization advocating an IP-based approach to connecting smart objects.