A common language for smart appliances


During the 2017 EU Sustainable Energy Week, EEBus and Energy@home, together with some leading European manufacturers of home appliances, have shown appliances that not only “speak” the same language but communicate with the energy management systems in an integrated home ecosystem. A solution that, by providing an intelligent electricity management, can bring benefits to the consumers’ bill. EEBus and Energy@home are two nonprofit associations that promote energy-efficient technologies for the smart home and the Internet of Things: during the European Sustainable Energy Week 2017 in Brussels, they have shown that the developed common language really allows different appliances of different brands to interact with a home energy manager. Different home management scenarios and the smart interactions with the power grid were presented. The interactions between the appliances and the energy manager have been activated through a SPINE (Smart Premises Interoperable Neutral-message Exchange) language. SPINE is based on a data model called SAREF (Smart Appliances REFerence ontology) that was developed for the interaction between intelligent devices with the patronage of the European Commission. “The demonstration that has been done is an important step in the journey towards a truly connected home – commented Marco Signa, Energy@home Director -. We have seen that a fragmented approach to the standards development slowed the adoption of useful and important technologies, while the commitment of a sector in exploring a common path could actually help change the world. What has been shown is therefore a fundamental step forward for the homes of the future. Homes where the technology works without problems and, by reducing the complexity of our everyday life, helps us live in a more environmentally friendly way”. “This new language – added Josef Baumeister, EEBus Director – works with different communication protocols and aims to ensure that the connected devices, even if they are produced by different companies, are able to communicate constantly between them and with a home energy manager. The exchange of information between all connected devices allows the system to manage the use of energy, optimizing it. For example, taking advantage of the best energy tariffs or of the peak hours for generating renewable energy. This will become increasingly important with the evolution of intelligent power grids and an increased use of self-produced energies such as the use of photovoltaic panels”. Also Paolo Falcioni, Ceced General Director, expressed appreciation for the achievement of a common language for smart appliances: “Smart appliances will be the next great innovation in our industry; an innovation that has already begun. The way these smart devices communicate, not only with the user, but also between them, will be crucial for the smart home revolution. Thanks to the work done by EEBus and Energy@home, the home appliance industry in Europe can now send a strong signal: we are able to lead this revolution with new and functional solutions that are open and effective for many types of appliances and technologies, going even beyond the household appliance sector. The industry is giving concrete answers to the questions of interconnection and communication that are currently on the table of the European Union”.