Google Powers UP

From The Official Google Blog

Google PowerMeter's first device partner

Today, we're very excited to announce we have secured our first official device partner. (That means having a smart meter installed by your utility is no longer a prerequisite for using Google PowerMeter!) For the last several months, a few hundred Google employees have been testing a number of in-home electricity monitoring devices. Those of us lucky enough to have one of these devices installed in our homes experienced first-hand how access to high-resolution energy use information drives meaningful behavior change (PDF). So we set out to make that data easier for everyone to access and understand by sending the collected data to our Google PowerMeter software.

The TED 5000 from Energy Inc. is an energy monitor that measures electricity usage in real-time (TED stands for "The Energy Detective"). As of today, we're pleased to announce that anyone in North America can purchase and install the TED 5000 and see personal home energy data using our free software tool, Google PowerMeter, from anywhere you can access the web including through iGoogle for mobile phones. (If you already have a TED 5000, you can download a free firmware upgrade to enable this functionality.)
Combined with Google PowerMeter, the TED 5000 device can help you understand your electricity usage to save energy and money. Energy Inc. is just our first device partner and if you are working for a company that manufactures energy monitors, we'd like to hear from you. Stay tuned for more!
Posted by Tom Sly, New Business Development & Charles Spirakis, Software Engineer

And from the TED website:

Did you know that most households pay thousands of dollars a year for electricity? Thousands! The Energy Detective (TED) can easily help you save 10-20% on your electric bill - hundreds of dollars - and the more you save, the more you help your neighbors, the community, and protect our environment.
How exactly does TED help? It's really a simple concept - If you can measure it, you can manage it.

Prices range from $199 to about $500, depending on what is being measured.

6. October 2009 09:03 by Kal | Comments (0) | Permalink

Invasion of the network car

The dream of personal rapid transit picks up speed from boston.com

pod__1254577909_5416 But there’s one system that, according to its proponents, combines the pluses of both options, while largely jettisoning the minuses. Called personal rapid transit, or PRT, it consists of small, light, electric vehicles, known as “pod cars,” which hold just a few passengers and run along a network of elevated tracks. The pod cars are driverless and automated: Passengers select their destination and the vehicle goes directly there, bypassing all other stations. Advocates say these systems could help ease a multitude of problems: global warming, dependence on foreign oil, congestion, and diminishing available land. They would also free commuters to safely engage in the activities they often do anyway while behind the wheel.

Interest in the United States is also on the rise. A 2007 report for the New Jersey Department of Transit concluded that “PRT has the potential to help the State address certain transportation needs in a cost-effective, environmentally-responsible, traveler-responsive manner.” San Jose recently issued a “request for proposals” with the aim of building a PRT system in the vicinity of the airport. The city council of Mountain View, Calif., where Google’s headquarters are located, is also considering the idea, as are officials in Santa Cruz, Calif., and Ithaca, N.Y. And in the Boston area, a small group of transit advocates is promoting the construction of a PRT system linking local universities.

Former Massachusetts secretary of transportation Fred Salvucci, who now teaches at MIT, says, “We have a lot of low-density suburbs that are very difficult to serve with traditional rapid transit.” Although he believes the political will and funding will be all but impossible to muster in the near term, he says, “The automobile is totally unsustainable. Personal rapid transit ought to be on the table.”

For more information: PRT Strategies

4. October 2009 10:42 by Kal | Comments (0) | Permalink

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