Skip to main content

An energy manager from Google could be in your future if this patent takes off

renewable energy
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Your home could soon be getting a healthy dose of intuition. On Thursday, Google filed a patent for a system that would provide “intelligent temperature management based on energy usage profiles and outside weather conditions.”

As our homes become smarter and smarter, they are being exposed to an increasing number of information sources, which in turn create their own feedback loops. Google is hoping to add to that list of sources the outside environment as well as individual devices’ energy usage. The data provided by these two factors could then be used to tell customers how best to save energy in their homes, allowing for more efficient energy management.

“Consumers experiment with different ways of reducing household energy usage,” the patent notes. “For example, consumers may turn off air conditioning during certain parts of the day,” or “use measuring devices to calculate the energy usage rate of a particular device.” But as it stands, it’s difficult to actually determine how much power certain devices are really using, and therefore, how best to save energy (and by extension, save some money). After all, do you really know what it means when someone tells you that you’re using two kilowatts per hour? No? Neither do we.

But Google wants to help us all better understand our energy footprint by linking devices to one master system of sorts. The patent describes “accessing an energy management policy for a plurality of devices … wherein the devices are coupled with a first structure.”

In essence, Google’s proposed device would create an energy usage rule for any given device, then monitor its actual energy usage. Based on a comparison between the energy usage rule and the observed data, the device would be able to “generate an instruction to modify an energy usage profile,” giving users more exacting instructions on what to do in order to cut back on their electric bill.

While this is nothing more than a patent for now, it is certainly a concept worth keeping your eyes on.

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
Here’s how you could protect your RTX 4090 from melting
The RTX 4090 graphics card on a table alongside a set of cables held in hand.

Reports about melting connectors and adapters on the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 are still popping up every so often, and we still haven't had an official statement from Nvidia on the matter. However, tech experts from around the globe are trying to find the cause of the problem.

This time around, a power supply expert from Corsair released a lengthy explanation of what might be happening. According to JonnyGuru, the issue is not caused by a faulty connector but rather by user error. The fix is rather simple.

Read more
What we want to see from Google’s fall event
google fall event 2022 smart home predictions made by

The next big Google event is slated for October 6, when the Made by Google livestream kicks off at 10 a.m. ET. Much of the hype surrounding the event is for the upcoming Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, but a few leaks and rumors have given us hope that there’ll be some big smart home announcements mixed in with the litany of smartphone reveals.

From confirmed reveals, early leaks, and everything in between, here are some smart home announcements we hope to see during Google’s October event.
Reworked Nest Doorbell

Read more
Spellcheckers in Google Chrome could expose your passwords
Office computer with login asking for password and username.

If you like to be thorough and use an advanced spellchecker, we have some bad news -- your personal information could be in danger.

Using the extended spellcheck in Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge transmits everything you input in order for it to be checked. Unfortunately, this includes information that should be strictly encrypted, such as passwords.

Read more