Microsoft has debuted a new, green initiative designed as a Cloud-based application labeled Hohm
. To understand the new service, users have to think of another project from the Redmond company, namely HealthVault. Essentially, Hohm is designed to be to home energy consumption what HealthVault is to health. Microsoft is presenting the Cloud app as a home-energy management service that will be offered free of charge and serve to lend a helping hand to consumers to make their homes greener, by conserving electricity and natural gas. With Hohm, Microsoft intends to enable users to monitor closely the energy consumption of their household and to take the necessary measures in order to cut down the excess.
“Microsoft Hohm is a free online beta application that helps you save energy and money. With Microsoft Hohm you can better understand your home energy usage, get recommendations to conserve energy and start saving. As with any recommendation engine, Hohm will provide increasingly more accurate and relevant suggestions for energy conservation as its users contribute home energy input and feedback. One of the objectives during our beta period is to refine our tool and further increase the value our product can offer to you,” the Hohm welcoming message reads.
Microsoft has already partnered with a range of companies including Seattle City Light, SMUD, Itron, Xcel Energy, Puget Sound Energy, Landis Gyr, but plans to strike more deals with additional organizations. At the same time, the Redmond has company announced that it will launch a software development kit for Hohm that will allow third-party developers to build solutions on top of the service.
With the Hohm SDK, manufacturers will be able to build utilities capable of linking to the service and serving it the data it requires to calculate energy consumption, much in the same manner medical devices are capable of sharing patient information directly with HealthVault. The similarities with HealthVault don't stop here, as Microsoft is planning to integrate energy data into its Bing search engine, in a manner similar to the Health Vertical.
Currently in Beta, Hohm is built with Windows Azure, Microsoft's Cloud operating system, at the basis.The software giant expects the final version of the service to launch in less than nine months.