Search giant reinforces its shift into the energy sector by reinventing the household light bulb.
Google is putting its name to a light bulb as it vies for visibility in the increasingly crowded market for domestic and commercial energy management.
The LED bulb will be the first product to showcase the information giant’s android@home platform, which allows users to control domestic and commercial appliances from their phone, thanks to new wireless ‘mesh’ technology. The bulb, developed in partnership with US firm Lighting Science Group, will launch in December. It contains wireless components which communicate with the Android operating system, and has a potential life of 50,000 hours.
According to Eric Holland of the Lighting Science Group, the wireless system will give consumers a greater level of flexibility and control over their energy use, “deciding which rooms or areas have priority, for example, once a set wattage has been reached”.
As the $110 billion information giant tussles with $153 billion Apple to create the world’s most valuable information ecosystem, the opportunity to brand something as common as a light bulb must have turned Google’s marketing department on, at least.
A bright idea, perhaps, but it’s only a small addition to Google’s recent interventions on energy. The company has also launched PowerMeter, a free online home energy monitoring tool, and set up the subsidiary Google Energy to buy and sell electricity on the wholesale market. – Alex Johnson
Photo credit: Eric Vega / istock