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Power Insight Uses Data, Algorithms to Enable Energy Efficiency, Cost Savings

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January 09, 2013

Power Insight Uses Data, Algorithms to Enable Energy Efficiency, Cost Savings

By Rich Steeves, TMCnet Managing Editor

People who live in glass houses should not throw stones, and people who live in old buildings have high utility bills. But what can we do about it? Well, if you live in a glass house, consider changing in the basement. But if you live in an older home, you could look for machine-to-machine solutions to help you save energy and money. And if you find, like Brian Zima did, that those solutions do not exist, you could create them yourself. And that is just what he did.

Zima wanted to know how he could itemize the costs on his electrical bill, and if he could do something in real time. He realized that no one in the industry had created a solution to tackle this problem in the way he envisioned, so he decided to do it himself. He put his solution in a hotel chain to see if he would be able to make use of the data he collected. It turns out that he could collect the information from the sensors and figure out what to do next.

Then he began a long iterative process. After six years of working with partners and assuring that the solution functioned the way he wanted it to, knowing that, if the hardware was no good he would be in trouble. He had to do it right, and he did. Now the solution is used in schools, retail environments and apartment complexes with genuine ROI. This is the origin of Zima’s company, Power Insight.

The secret of Power Insight’s success is a combination of factors. The core, according to Zima, is the data analytics. Of course you need hardware and network connectivity, but the key is to bring all the information from all the sensors and integrate it. Also, says Zima, Power Insight prides itself in being able to make the complicated world of M2M simpler for clients. They want solutions that are customizable, affordable and easy to use.

Power Insight chose to team up with embedded M2M solutions expert Sprint (News - Alert) on the network side. Zima stated that he appreciates Sprint’s expertise. It knows how to provision devices and offers tools for developers. Sprint supported Power Insight in the early days, walking the new company through the process and becoming a great partner.

As for the future of the M2M space, Zima sees more and more uses for remote monitoring, whether you are a company that makes chocolate and you want to keep a close eye on the temperature of the bars you are shipping in a truck (that affects the flavor more than you might expect) or you are a homeowner who wants to install an alarm system in a summer home. He also sees mobility as playing a role, as people will want to get their updates from M2M deployments on their devices no matter where they are. Also, Zima sees efficiency of algorithms as the holy grail of the space. The better the algorithms are, the more efficiency these solutions can achieve, and the more money and energy people can save.

Want to learn more about M2M technologies? Don’t miss the M2M Evolution Conference, collocated with ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at M2M Evolution Conference. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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