An app store for... smart grid? (It's important for smart cities too.)

Thu, 2017-01-26 15:06 -- SCC Staff

I'd like you to notice two trends in the press release below. First: people are realizing that it's all about the applications. Yes, you have to have the right infrastructure in place. But once that's on the way, you need to focus on the solutions that will ride on top.

Council Lead Partner Itron has a highly sophisticated communications infrastructure. With this announcement, they've created the foundation for an "app store" for smart grid. And, since Itron's OpenWay Riva platform supports virtually any kind of sensor, for future smart city applications.

Second: We are accelerating our move to edge intelligence. It is not practical to ship each and every bit of sensor data to centralized computers. Instead, we need those edge devices to do a bit of "thinking" on their own. Then they can send up just what really matters. (Summaries, exceptions, problems, alerts, and so on.)

In fact, in some cases the edge device can do ALL the thinking for itself. Pittsburgh, for instance, has piloted smart traffic signals that decide on their own when to turn green and red. Then they alert the other signals upstream and downstream of their decision. -- Jesse Berst

Itron and Bsquare first to provide app community for grid edge devices

Itron to demonstrate dynamic app delivery for smart devices using Bsquare DataA at DistribuTECH in San Diego

LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. and BELLEVUE, Wash. — Jan. 26, 2017 — Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI), a world-leading technology and services company dedicated to the resourceful use of energy and water, and Bsquare (NASDAQ: BSQR), a leading supplier of Internet of Things (IoT) software and integration services, are advancing distributed intelligence by providing a secure OpenWay Riva App Community for edge devices, including meters, sensors and other devices. Itron will use Bsquare’s DataV™ IoT software stack to enable easy app downloads and management for Itron’s OpenWay Riva™ network devices. Itron will demonstrate this capability at DistribuTECH in San Diego, Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 in booth #2613.

Itron’s OpenWay Riva solution provides distributed intelligence and computing power in meters and grid devices, enabling real-time analysis of data and peer-to-peer communication among intelligent devices at the edge of the network. Bsquare DataV provides a software distribution layer embedded within the OpenWay Riva network that allows utilities to dynamically and securely download apps to targeted populations of meters, easily enabling new functionality and capabilities.

 The ability for utilities to securely distribute apps to meters and grid devices can add a wide range of functionality over time, thereby adding value to fixed capital assets. Examples of applications that can be dynamically added to devices include advanced theft detection, high impedance detection, load disaggregation, locational awareness, active demand response and many others. In addition, third party developers can also provide their applications to the OpenWay Riva App Community. Bsquare DataV provides Itron’s app community with the ability to efficiently manage and monitor the status of millions of remote devices.

“Itron’s OpenWay Riva solution puts intelligence into devices across a utility’s service territory and provides dynamic and powerful new methods of improving grid reliability, reducing operating costs and enhancing revenue opportunities,” said Mark de Vere White, president of Itron’s Electricity business line. “With the interest from third parties, including utilities, we expect hundreds of apps available over time. These app community capabilities make it easier for our customers to access apps and deliver and manage them over the OpenWay Riva network. It’s just like having a highly secure smart phone and app store available for every OpenWay Riva device.”

“This is an excellent example of the innovative ways in which IoT technology can be applied to diverse business problems,” said Dave Wagstaff, Bsquare CTO. “For DataV, the ability to securely and reliably manage the distribution of software apps to tens of millions of meters—and do it in such a way that core revenue generating functions cannot be impaired—was a snap. As important, DataV is able to deliver these capabilities even over networks that are extremely constrained from a bandwidth perspective.”