Has Google Given Up On PowerMeter?

It’s in Google’s DNA to try a lot of things. Some work out great, some fail. Among those that are looking like a failure is Google’s experiment in power metering. Yesterday. the company announced that it would deprecate and shut down quite a few of its APIs yesterday and among those is the PowerMeter API. Google won’t shut this API down right away, but it’s also no longer developing and experimenting with it and it looks like the whole project is dead at this point. Another sign of PowerMeter’s demise is the fact that the product’s blog hasn’t been updated since August 2010.

It’s somewhat surprising that Google – a company that is now heavily invested in green technologies – would give up on a product like this without trying a bit harder. Chances are, though, that the company is now betting that the open, Arduino-based Android@Home project will deliver on the promise of PowerMeter. While there was a lot of talk about Android@Home at Google’s I/O developer conference earlier this month, Google has lately developed a tendency to test many ideas but hardly ever follows through when a project doesn’t take off immediately.

PowerMeter never quite caught on with vendors and the public. Launched in February 2009, it was supposed to make it easy for home owners to track their power usage and help them find ways to save energy. Sadly, Google only managed to sign on four partners since then (San Diego Gas & Electric and Blue Ridge Electric were the only ones in the U.S.). Chances are that these existing partners are the only reason Google isn’t just shutting the API down.


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