Today in Cleantech

Could we see an apps store for smart meters take off in the future? SmartSynch, the company championing cellular smart meters, is trying it out with Qualcomm, hoping to draw utilities and third party developers to build new applications to run everything from prepay smart meters to electric vehicle charging and solar panel monitoring systems. SmartSynch is using Qualcomm’s Brew MP development platform to develop smart grid apps and on its own and from third party developers, and those could run on Qualcomm 3G-enabled meters SmartSynch intends to have on the market later this year. The big question is, can it build enough critical mass? The Jackson, Miss.-based company has about 140 utility customers, but most are using it for commercial and industrial meters — potential customers for utility-written apps, but not the mass market that residential smart meter customers represent. SmartSynch does have a home metering project with AT&T and Texas New Mexico Power set to expand to 231,000 meters in the next five years, but partnerships with Verizon and Sprint have yet to announce major residential deployments. I’m curious to hear from the developer community — would this smart grid offering be something you’d want to get involved in?