Thursday 14 August 2008

Lowering Consumption with the .Net Micro Framework

This morning in the shower I was thinking about the importance of all the appliances in my house being connected to the Internet. To me, this is no longer a luxurious idea, it is a critical requirement.

In this world of ours we are starting to realise it is not sustainable to go on consuming as we have. Guzzling power like it is going out of fashion, is going out of fashion. It is no longer cool to have a car that does 1 mile per gallon. It is cool to have a Prius.

There are protocols now in use for communicating over the 240/120 volt power lines that arrive at every plugged in device.

What if every device's plug socket was actually a small low-powered micro computer, with functions to measure power consumption, identify the appliance being powered and control the power with a digital switch? Every single appliance in your house could have its plug changed over to one of these new plugs, and a Wifi .Net Micro Framework plug in an out of the way place could aggregate these devices into a simple web service. With all this information you could easily see the power consumption throughout the house, both whilst at home and anywhere online. You could have a small page for your house that shows your current power consumption, and maybe aggregate these pages into a site where you could run competitions for the house with the lowest consumption in your street...

Low power consumption for residential properties will be a massive industry, and fine grained control over how much you consume in your life will be a critical part of how you interact with the world in years to come. Why not use the .Net Micro Framework as a part of the solution?

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