Today, Cisco announced their intent to acquire San Francisco based Arch Rock. With this acquisition, Cisco will be able to extend their reach into smart-metering systems that buttress smart-grid applications. Smart-grid appliances are capable of communicating with power distribution centers in order to regulate their power intake, save money, and reduce waste electricity.
From Cisco’s statement:
“Arch Rock’s wireless mesh technology enhances Cisco’s IP-based, end-to-end smart-grid offerings,” said Laura Ipsen, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Smart Grid business unit. “This acquisition further positions Cisco as a strategic partner to utilities working to better manage power supply and demand, improve the security and reliability of energy delivery, and optimize operational costs.”
Arch Rock’s technology is designed to enable utilities to connect smart meters and other distributed intelligent devices over a scalable, highly secure, multi-way wireless mesh network. The acquisition complements the recently announced strategic alliance between Itron and Cisco to develop solutions that enhance smart-metering technology.
The wireless mesh will mean that appliances will be able to communicate with each other and power distribution centers to better regulate electrical flow. Having a secure system to do this with will mean also that not only will customers get what they pay for, but they can be comfortable that they’ll only have to pay for what they get. No worries about third parties tapping into or messing with their communications without permission.
While this technology is still being developed for urban centers, it is more likely aimed at business and enterprise infrastructure—for example, a data center would benefit greatly from the ability for various appliances like server racks, A/C units, and the like to communicate their power draw needs to the distribution point.
For more information on Arch Rock see their website.