4Home, Marvell partner for energy monitoring plug computer

If you asked Intel what this is, the company would tell you it's an experimental power sensor; if you asked a storage guru, they'd ID it as the PogoPlug. Truth be told, it's a miniature Linux computer designed by Marvell -- who's apparently decided to beat Intel at the former function. Through a partnership with 4Home, Marvell's latest 2GHz SheevaPlug will become a smart meter that measures power consumption right from the outlet, ostensibly allowing you to figure out which blasted light the kids left on this time without shoving a pricey home automation kit into your walls. No word on how much it'll cost to keep tabs on your energy bill or when you'll be able to do it, but we'll ask those important questions and more when we see the device for ourselves later this week. PR after the break.

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4Home and Marvell Introduce Jointly-Developed Plug Computer for Energy Management
New Plug Computer Featuring Plug 'n' Play Energy Management to be Showcased at CONNECTIONS Conference

SILICON VALLEY, Calif., June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Marvell (Nasdaq: MRVL), a worldwide leader in integrated silicon solutions, and 4Home, a leading provider of connected home services software, today introduced a new energy management solution, based on the SheevaPlug™, powered by Marvell® Sheeva™ CPU technology. The new energy management solution allows consumers to easily and reliably monitor and control their home's energy usage by simply plugging into an electrical wall outlet. With this new solution, consumers will have the freedom to self-track detailed energy records and leverage energy data to project and potentially drive down their future energy costs. Furthermore, with embedded features from the SheevaPlug, consumers can enjoy environmentally-friendly, always-on energy monitoring with zero-configuration.

"Plug Computing is gaining rapid adoption in the connected home market for its encapsulated product experience: just plug and go," said Dr. Simon Milner, Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Business Unit, Communications and Consumer Group at Marvell. "The Plug Computer for energy management enables an entire ecosystem of green products to work together seamlessly, behind the scenes to allow consumers to manage their energy usage from their television, smartphone, or tablet."

About the 4Home ControlPoint™ Software

The new platform features 4Home's ControlPoint™ software optimized for energy management, which includes the following features:

* Tracking of real-time and historical energy usage for the entire home as well as individual appliances
* Projection of future energy usage and costs for daily, monthly and yearly cycles based on current energy usage
* Alerts notifying users if they are trending towards an overage in energy usage based on the amount of energy use that they allocate for the given time period

"Energy management is a leading connected home service that's driving the development of home systems that can support new connectivity standards and protocols to enable the monitoring and control of residential energy use," said Nate Williams, CMO at 4Home. "The plug-computing platform introduces an unobtrusive and fully-connected energy management system into the home environment, and benefits from the underlying ControlPoint software that allows it to be compatible with new devices, standards, and home configurations."

About the Plug Computer

The award-winning Plug Computer is designed to make high-performance, always on, always connected, and green computing readily available for developers and end-users. Plug Computers feature a 2 GHz Marvell ARMADA™ 300 processor, and optional built-in hard-disk drive and embedded Marvell Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies. Additional peripherals such as Direct Attached Storage (DAS) can be connected using a USB 2.0 port. Multiple standard Linux 2.6 kernel distributions are supported on the Plug Computer development platform enabling rapid application development. The enclosure is designed to plug directly into a standard wall socket and is designed to draw less than one tenth of the power of a typical PC being used as a home server.

"With smart meters rolling out aggressively and driving concerns about both rising energy costs and conservation, there is a dramatic increase in interest for home energy management systems," said Rob Enderle, Principal Analyst for the Enderle Group. "The Plug Computing platform coupled with the 4Home ControlPoint software creates a compelling and cost-effective solution for the home owner looking to both conserve and better manage their home energy use."