“HomeBeat” Photo/Bidgely

Thought leaders and Utility executives think “customer engagement” is the sine qua non of Grid Services. They have a point. But they’re running out of excuses.

HomeBeat takes the complexity out of customer engagement. It’s the missing piece for remote control over home appliances. It enables customers to design their own demand-response programs—for their own reasons. And its self-service paradigm is a hallmark of smart design.



The New Social

Bob and Evan waiting for the rain to stop
Bob and Evan Lose Their Privacy To A Rainstorm © Me

Scott McNealy’s 1999 dystopian assessment “there’s no privacy on the Web, get over it” no longer seems debatable…but it may be worse than we thought.

Anonymity–a kind of privacy–is a new social business model where ventures like secret.ly, whisper, and Yik-Yak are securing funding rounds. Anonymous media sites leverage anonymity, GPS, and compulsive posting to display thoughts in your vicinity—the local temperature. It yields surprising information. Already, secret.ly has streamed shockingly accurate predictions. Imagine reading a secret.ly post that your boss is interviewing your replacement. That is exactly what’s been happening. And the converse is also true…people interviewing at other firms are being outed on these anonymous sites. Imagine the harm that could be done with false postings on an anonymous social network…anonymity is a weapon of mass destruction in the war on privacy.

Bob & Evan lost their privacy due to a rainstorm that forced them to sit down together. Today, humans are losing their privacy in a maelstrom of anonymity. It really makes us wonder…

Is destroying each other’s privacy the new social?

Touch Me

The latest version of “smart skin” shows it will soon surpass the real thing.

smart skin
A piece of the prototype smart skin with integrated sensors. Photo/Technology Review

Advances in sensor-tech, digitization of touch, recombinant innovation. Smarter skin is just one of the transformational inventions emerging from the powerful forces reshaping reality. The handicapped of today will be the gifted of tomorrow when artificial skin interprets the physical world faster, better, and smarter than the real thing. Imagine a “glove” for doctors that reveal everything about your physical condition with a mere laying-on of hands. Imagine a smart skin patch that replicates your condition in real time to a Dr. Watson App that diagnoses, prognosticates, prescribes, and notifies you before you realize anything’s wrong. In light of inventions like smart skin, it’s difficult to believe the prediction of ever-increasing healthcare costs. In fact, what if a collapse in price turns out to be the real future of healthcare…?

Touch me. Please.

‘Eat Drink Pray’

Containment Marsh at The Parish School
Containment Marsh – Photo/Nick

Over the course of societal development, making safe drinking water has required increasingly advanced water treatment technology. But today a cascade of problems threaten: aging infrastructures (people, processes, and pipes), agricultural overloading of surface and ground water with nutrients great for growing food but harmful to humans, and an emerging political food fight over what to do about it. What we drink has never been more closely linked to what we eat. As the issue enters the political arena a common understanding of cause, effect, and solutions may prove elusive….leaving the average person with few options other than eat, drink, pray.

For an example of the emerging polemic that is likely to grow, see this shot by a journalist at BloombergView. It’s only the beginning.