An OPEN « Internet of Everything » for a magic digital energy

Publié par le 27 mai 2015
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Internet_of_Everthing

By concentrating all its forces on innovation, the technology world is necessarily Darwinian and selects only those who survive:  MP3 versus CD, tablets versus netbooks. Without going back to these « antiques », and while the « Smart Home » is ready to reach the public, judging by the number of products in this category at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2015, a new battle is in progress: Google vs. Apple, whereas in the middle stand many Communications Service Providers and Energy Retailers in Europe who are starting to act to ensure their positions.

 Infinite possibilities for the connected home

Although dozens of manufacturers propose interesting end-users products, most connected devices do not talk to each other simply, creating vertical user-experience and lack of user-friendly interaction between services. They facilitate end-users adoption and education, with their emotional design and extremely well designed apps, but they create services silos.

Still, the Internet of Things in the home, or rather the Internet of Everything (ie the interaction between the things, the data, the processes, the event, the people), should offer a virtually unlimited potential for interaction and automation, improving the living conditions of individuals in the home and the user experience.

Harnessing the possibilities of interconnect with the entire home and other smart devices that are already there, is a unique value that delivers the real promise of the « smart home ». Answering the question of communication between devices is therefore critical to enable meaningful use cases and to create the network effect for mass adoption.

The solution does not rely entirely on the creation of new industrial alliances, clubs and future standards and protocols, even if Allseen, OIC, Thread, Homekit are critical enablers of simpler interoperability.

Certainly we need to open an IoE ecosystem where devices, services and frameworks can talk to each other, locally and/or the Cloud, simply, regardless of their technologies, brands or ecosystem memberships. The Internet of Everything cannot be limited to wall-gardened ecosystems, even if industrial stakes are obviously high.

To offer enriched user experience, we trust that platforms such as IJENKO’s IoE2 will build bridges between all these major IP and non-IP universes.

A necessary « local » intelligence in the home

Today, an energy supplier or a service provider wishing to create additional value for its end customers to adapt to these new practices is offered a myriad of platforms for the Internet of Things, most of which cannot guarantee service availability even when the Internet is down. Only a local intelligence providing an autonomous rules engine can solve this problem and ensure an optimal quality of service. Applied to the energy management of the home, this local intelligence is even more valuable as real-time, automatic decisions have to be made all the time:

  • Should I use my renewable micro-generation, resell it or consume energy from the grid, depending on the ToU and the feed-in tariffs? How can I manage automatically the storage capacity of my Powerwall battery depending on power pricing and my needs forecast?
  • Do I need to opt out to the scheduled Demand response operation today or allow it?

The Internet of Things platform must offer this high level of real-time or programmed automation and allow the user to make such decisions, or delegate them to a trusted service, whether it is in favor of comfort, bill optimization or to avoid the trap of fuel poverty.

The IoT, an opportunity for energy providers

In the energy field, the power of the Internet of Things lies in  Demand Side Management, based on volume, net pricing or CO2 emissions optimization, especially in peak and ultra-peak periods.

In Europe, as in the rest of the world, energy retailers are facing the following challenges:

  • Regulation and the obligation to decrease consumption,
  • The commoditization of energy, low margins, and churn,
  • Potential new entrants with very significant financial resources and disruptive technologies that might end up disintermediating them from their customers,
  • The emergence of the concept of smart cities and territorial, decentralized energy management,
  • The rapid decline in the price of batteries for homes,
  • Renewables parity and the development of valuable micro-generation models, with the related stress and constraints on the grid due to intermittency,
  • Public pressure on climate change, and the increased understanding of the impact of individual and collective energy consumption.

They can be seen as challenges and/or opportunities for the energy retailers, if they surf the IoE wave properly. If they transform themselves in digital services groups, entering the fast and big data worlds, extending personal energy plans and related coaching services, managing demand, production and storage actively, at the individual and the aggregated level, they can benefit from the combination of the value of downstream and upstream services and uplift their business model. The direct sale of IoT devices by their manufacturers is also an opportunity to create service value for their end-users. Energy retailers can create augmented services, mash-up data between their own assets and these third party devices, trigger actions without boundaries via the various interaction channels an IoE platform can facilitate. Thus they can increase retention, customer satisfaction and may be ARPU.

Energy retailers would then become service providers of comfort, light, heat, convenience, happiness with a personalized energy and innovative IoE play, using the same sales, marketing and eco-system strategy & tools as global digital groups, with the same network effects. They could recreate a magical  energy experience, and develop sustainable business and community value.

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Meet IJENKO at Smart Grid Paris 2015 next 27, 28, 29th May

Publié par le 6 mai 2015
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IJENKO, official partner of Smart Grid Paris 2015, will be once more present at this major annual event in Europe.
With its IoE2 Platform embracing the Internet of Energy and Internet of Everything, IJENKO adresses the needs of several utilities accross Europe.

UK Utilities facing unprecedented challenges : a trend for the rest of Europe ?

As a European platform, we are keen to share our insights on the UK Utilities strategies we help bringing more value to their customers. Continental Europe Utilities have started their digital transformation, but UK has been ahead of this trend. For an overview, please discover this short video :

The IoT Wave, « the digital tsnunami » in home energy management

As proves the recent announcement of Tesla on home batteries, the energy in the home could be totally revamped and the introduction of IoT best sellers products has also a major contribution to this fundamental changes.
To know more about these new trends, join us at this conference :
SG15_KitCom_300x250_15-122_1

Connected devices / IoT in energy management : which impacts on smart grids markets?
Thursday, May 28th, 2015
Roundtable 4
9:30 am – 11:00 am

What convergence between ICTs and electricity?

Smart energy, part of the IoT? How is it actually used and what changes does it mean for firms and consumers?

Could the IoT interfere with industry players’ plans, and if so, to what extent?

How can the IoT help build the electric grid of the future?
What value for the energy system?
How do consumers go about taking ownership of these new things?

 

Roundtable_4_Smart_Grid_Paris_2015

 

Meet IJENKO at Smart Grid Paris 2015

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The Apple Watch – part of a well prepared strategy

Publié par le 20 avril 2015
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Apple Watch range

I participated on April the 17th to a Business Breakfast organized by UserAdgents on the theme « SmartWatches: time to market ? ».

Two special guests from Forrester, the research company, and Accor, the hotel operator, shared few data concerning the wearables’ market and the vision of companies preparing for the Apple Watch launch and, more broadly, pursuing their digital transformation.

But the main part of the presentation was dedicated to give a feedback concerning the Apple Watch and the rumbling it is causing to this market. I will not talk about the Apple Watch features and technology, you can find more than I can say on the net. The idea is to discuss the strategic views that were shared during the presentation.

The ship is steering for Fashion and Health

According to UserAdgents, Apple is moving its brand to a new direction: Fashion and luxury. The experience around the Apple Watch when you enter the Apple Store focuses on your personal style and the three product lines (the Sport line which case is in aluminium, the Collection one in steel  and the Edition one with a gold case ) are made to fit your taste and material preferences rather than technological features. We will all recognize the Angela Ahrendts touch … But what about the watch life cycle ? If you are willing to change your iPhone every 2 or 3 years, which may cost you in average between $200 and $500 (depending on the part your telecom operator is willing to sponsor and the plan you subscribe for), how much are you willing to pay for the latest watch edition knowing you have already paid $300, or may be more than $1,000 for the Collection featuring a stainless steel case and bracelet ?

Apple-Watch-Heartbeat

The second thing worth saying is the way Apple is making the market of healthcare explode. With its heart rate sensor, Apple is going to build the biggest Health Big Data, which may revolutionize the industry and the way people will look at their health. Their later announcement of agreement with IBM to make analytics in the health area was to say that Apple’s next step is to save lives. Traditional chinese doctors could say a lot about your health by just taking your wrist in their hands and sensing your heart rate. Apple aims to do the same, but with modern technologies and something more appealing to wear.

Applications need relevance and context

UserAdgents raised the fact that applications that will identify the « Gold information » with relevance in data and time (matching BMWiwith the end-user key micro moments) will win the battle among all the new apps that will emerge for the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch is not made to navigate in apps or on the web, it is an iPhone extension, with the purpose of bringing to you the ONE information you need, and to notify you when something that interest you happens. The stake is not UX anymore, but the interaction mechanisms the app can offer an end-user. It should bring « sense », « service » and « context ». BMWi built an app that gives you one data: the level of your car battery charging level when you get near to your electric vehicle, which is much convenient if you are having a long journey ahead.

Forrester said, according to a survey, 29% of french smartphone users are willing to abandon looking for their smartphone each time they need it. A colleague of mine said that the Apple Watch will have more success among the feminine segment. This is mostly due to the fact that women are always looking inside their bags for something that looks just to be in the bottom of it (I can testify this is the case, and sometimes I even get worried I lost my iPhone somewhere). You add this to the fashion-like branding, QED …

In conclusion, by unifying innovation and fashion, the Apple watch is seen as the natural « cleaner » of the wearables market, especially the connected bracelets. However, questions arise concerning the over-solicitation and overexposure dangers. Imagine you get notified each time you are getting an email or a tweet. As for the iPhone, the success of the Apple Watch will be driven by the diversity of apps and their ability to bring this Gold information, to be worth replacing a traditional watch. For my part, I think that piloting with Siri is the key value of the watch since you can benefit from the Apple Watch proximity to interact with your ecosystem, among which your Homekit devices. The image behind the puzzle is taking shape …

PS – If you are interested in the whole presentation of UserAdgents, here is the link to SlideShare: http://bit.ly/1b3qmdV (for french readers)

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