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"If it were up to me, I wouldn't have a meter."

— M.L., Toronto, Canada

The Thermostat is the “Mouse for the Smart Grid”

This weekend I attended a very joyous wedding celebration for two long-time friends. At the reception, I ran into Pierluigi Zappacosta who we had interviewed extensively for his role as one of the founders of Logitech on the occasion of the company’s 25th anniversary. A pioneer in the personal computer industry, Logitech built a multi-billion dollar global corporation by innovating on the last inch that connects the consumer with now ubiquitous computing power and the Internet.

 

While speaking with Pierluigi, I realized the thermostat is the “Mouse for the Smart Grid.” This physical touch point enables a consumer to translate intention into the demand that sets all the wheels in motion. And whether that touch is communicated via an app on a tablet, smartphone, or a device on the wall, the same opportunity to innovate from that simple and modest premise exists.

 

What we are seeing with the transition from manual to programmable and learning thermostats, is just the beginning. With intuitive interfaces, relevant information, and pricing incentives an entirely different level of consumer engagement is possible.

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