November 24th, 2010
Carleton and e-Radio Inc. Collaborate on Smart Home Project

(Ottawa) –  

Carleton University and e-Radio Inc. (ERI) today announced the launch of Smart Homes: The End User Perspective - a collaborative research project that will explore how smart home technologies and architectures can better serve homeowners and how to measure the benefits of these technologies.

A “smart home” refers to the automation of household appliances and features in residential dwellings, particularly through electronic means, which automatically optimizes residential energy use. A smart home helps people optimize their living style, rearrange their day-to-day schedules, secure a high quality of life and, in turn, enable people to reduce their energy bill.

“The implementation of smart grid components such as the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) or smart meters, by themselves, will not necessarily lead to informed control by homeowners,” says Marc St-Hilaire, Smart Home project director and assistant professor at Carleton’s School of Information Technology.” So a key part of our research will be to explore the means and techniques by which end users can take an active role in the use of electricity in their homes in a convenient but effective manner.”

The study will consider system complexity, reliability, ease of use and cost/benefit, factors which will likely decide if these technologies will succeed to their full potential in the free marketplace.

“ERI technologies have always been designed to enable informed, private but powerful actions to be taken in an easy to use manner,” said Jackson Wang, president and CEO, e-Radio Inc. “ERI’s made-in-Canada technology harnesses the power of FM radio to enable the global consumer to wirelessly and securely activate “smart-grid” enabled devices and appliances like thermostats, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, in-home displays and electric vehicles.”

As a short term goal, the first step in this research will be to explore the various state of the art technologies for smart homes. This includes standards, patents, and current and planned products.

The Smart Home joint research initiative of e-Radio Inc. and Carleton University will eventually lead to a more long-term collaboration based on the overall research questions addressed by the Smart Home project. As part of this research, ERI and Carleton will also develop a base simulation model that encompasses utilities and various networking alternatives within a smart home (wireless networks, wire line/power line communication networks) to explore core networking design choices through simulation. The simulation model can then generate projected results from “what if” scenarios which will be calibrated against real life results.

This research project has been funded, in part, by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). NSERC supports some 29,500 university students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies, promotes discovery by funding more than 11,800 professors every year, and fosters innovation by encouraging more than 1,500 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.

e-Radio Inc. (ERI) provides a complete smart-grid communications solution. The Canadian-owned company operates wireless communications networks and designs and manufactures FM receiver modules that are integrated into a variety of smart grid devices. The company’s products are focused on residential, commercial and small industrial customer demand management programs using the global standard FM-RDS technology as the communications platform.

Located in the nation’s capital, Carleton University is a dynamic research and teaching institution with a tradition of leading change. Its internationally recognized faculty, staff and researchers provide more than 24,000 full- and part-time students from every province and more than 100 countries around the world with academic opportunities in more than 65 programs of study, including public affairs, journalism, film studies, engineering, high technology, and international studies. Carleton’s creative, interdisciplinary and international approach to research has led to many significant discoveries and creative works in science and technology, business, governance, public policy and the arts. As an innovative institution, Carleton is uniquely committed to developing solutions to real-world problems by pushing the boundaries of knowledge and understanding daily. 

See the Carleton University newsroom for the original posting.


For further information:
Jackson Wang, P.Eng
President and CEO
e-Radio Inc.

Marc St-Hilaire
Assistant Professor
School of Information Technology
Carleton University
(613) 520-2600, ext. 1844

Lin Moody
Media Relations
Carleton University
613-520-2600, ext. 8705