Logitech’s Harmony Elite is the closest I’ve got to achieving the smart home dream. You know, the one where you enter the house, all the lights flick on, and the entertainment system boots up to your favourite channel while the heating system asks if the temperature is cosy enough for you—that sort of thing. The problem has always been standards: the Internet of Things (IoT) has lots of them, but few of them play nicely together.The £279 ($350) Harmony Elite bridges the gap with a fancy touchscreen remote, charging dock, smartphone app, and a wireless hub, letting you control most infrared, Bluetooth, and IoT devices from either the included remote, or a smartphone app. The hub—which you can purchase separately for £99 ($99)—is the where the magic happens. Logitech sells the remote separately for £199 in the UK, as well as range of cheaper models, but none feature the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth IoT wizardry that makes the Elite bundle so appealing.
A lot of attention these days is being lavished on batteries and charging, mostly because of how much we seem to be doing that every day. We’re always on the lookout for better ways to power our devices, from improvements in the batteries themselves to alternative ways of charging. While the magical “charging from thin air” is still a far ways off, the technology that can pull not a rabbit but electrical energy from thin air enough to power senors might just be around the corner if Drayson Technologies’ Freevolt is to be believed.
FreeWire Technologies, Inc. and Siemens are partnering to pilot and commercialize the Mobi Charger(TM), employing the Siemens eCar Operation Center (OC) and the Siemens VersiCharge electric vehicle-charging technology. Mobi Charger turns traditional charging on its head and rolls the charger to the vehicles, regardless of where they are parked in the lot. The integrated system enables businesses to easily offer mobile EV-charging, cost-efficiently powered by second-life EV batteries, and intelligently interconnected to the Internet and electricity grid.
eMotorWerks, a leading manufacturer of intelligent and connected Smart[Grid] charging solutions for electric vehicles, announced a partnership with Slingshot Power, a provider of highly efficient solar solutions, to offer a unique solar package that delivers the most advanced residential charging solution at an attractive bundled price to enable a cleaner, more resilient and more affordable way of charging electric vehicles.
It’s difficult to own an electric vehicle if you don’t own a house and thus lack consistent overnight access to an EV charger. Even with the availability of public and workplace charging, most drivers will want to plug in at home to ensure they have a full charge for the next day.
The Internet of Things is more than just a smartwatch and some recent trends in technology reflect its breadth. Tony Lin and Carly Didden of Hogan Lovells review a recent telecommunications and Internet forum in this recent blog post and said that, “new charging technology and more sophisticated power use are among the major new trends remarking the fact of the Internet of Things.”
Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo tells TechWeek Europe that the potential of the Internet of Things make it a priority for all businesses next year
In late 2013 the diagnostics team at Tesla noticed a small but potentially significant problem. Some of its Model S electrical charging adapters (or the devices that plug into electrical outlets to charge the vehicles) were overheating, usually as a result of bad outlet wiring.
So that December they issued an OTA (Over The Air) software update that let all of its cars automatically reduce their charging current by 25 percent if they detected any unusual external power fluctuations. And for those who wanted them, they issued new adapters. Problem solved.
DOE has partnered with private industry to encourage workplace plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging, and the effort seems to be paying off. The partnership, the EV Everywhere Workplace Charging Challenge, wants to see a substantial increase in companies offering workplace charging by 2018.
Utilities face a significant challenge in turning the plug-in electric vehicles charging in their customers’ garages from grid threat to grid asset: the problem of “revenue-grade” metering. That’s the term of art for the highly accurate and reliable data that utilities need from distributed energy assets, like EV chargers, in order to start paying them — or charging them — for things that aren’t part of the typical utility-customer compact.
The days of plugging a smart electric car into a dumb outlet may be numbered, with eight of the top auto firms joining forces with power companies to work out a universal “smart grid” standard for charging EVs and hybrids. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) aims to build a common language for cars and utilities to speak, allowing them to take advantage of off-peak and nighttime charging rates among other promotions, regardless of which socket they’re plugged into.