Some of the Simple Energy folks are headed down to party at SXSW tomorrow, and today in Intelligent Utility Phil Carson explored the exciting possibility that the energy industry may actually be getting cooler – perfect timing! “The ‘Internet of Things’ is a clumsy term, but the smart grid is a part of that,” explains a technology strategist from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) who is attending SXSW. “I’d like to attract general thinkers who see the smart grid as a piece of a ubiquitous Internet, for lack of a better term—the fact that the entire environment becomes intelligent to some extent. That includes power, water and things we haven’t even thought of yet.”
People at SXSW could be likely to think of the smart grid as another piece of an intelligent environment, because as Carson describes, “SXSW has morphed into a music and film festival that also leverages the forward-looking, diverse, socially conscious interests of its performers, participants and audience to interact around a multiplicity of ideas and mutual interests.” In other words, the folks at SXSW like to think about how multiple disciplines are connected, and they are highly motivated to do work that helps that planet.
Energy industry folks are starting to recognize this, and some of the them are “heading to SXSW to converse with like-minded people in an emerging technology field that includes virtual worlds, gaming, and simulated realities.” Needless to say, at Simple Energy we are all about the power of game mechanics and online social networks, so we’re happy to hear that other people are starting to get interested too!
The really exciting piece of this conversation is that energy is an incredibly important industry with an enormous impact on the entire planet, making it easy to get socially conscious, innovative thinkers interested in the subject. “I found last year that with the South-by-Southwest crowd, I got the most excitement out of them when they thought in terms of helping society,” said the IEEE technology strategist. “It’s really a very idealistic crowd. When I talked about how work in this new field could transform society with all its applications, that’s when I saw the spark in their eyes and found them really engaged.”
Carson concludes, “Who knew a music and film festival could turn into a socially conscious movement leveraging technology to transform society? Especially with beer in hand.”