With the Commission’s strong support and in close cooperation with industry, huge progress has been made in standardisation to ensure that the different devices we use in our everyday lives ‘speak the same language’. They can now interact and adjust to real-life circumstances as it has become essential that we optimize use of resources and reduce our energy consumption.
To that end and in response to market demand, in 2015 the European Commission funded and fostered, together with a broad stakeholder community, the creation and standardisation of SAREF this way empowering smart home appliances such as the dishwasher and the home energy management system to communicate with each other and share single device-to-platform solutions. This could for instance help us adjust our response to changes in electricity market prices and availability of renewable energy by using the dishwasher when our car is not charging or when the utilities company signals that it is most efficient.
SAREF ensures interoperability between solutions from different device manufacturers and amongst various activity sectors in the so-called Internet of Things (or IoT, the web of connected objects), thus contributing to the development of a global digital market in this area. Since its inception, this Internet of things ontology expanded to a number of other sectors such as Energy, Environment, Building, SmartCities, Industry and Manufacturing, as well as Smart Agriculture and Food Chain. Now thanks to EU funding, four more sectors are being added: automotive, eHealth/Ageing-well, wearable devices and water.
The work SAREF undertakes is now available on a dedicated website for all manufacturers and solutions providers to use. Any device compliant with SAREF will increase its ability to foresee issues and act upon them, for example for maintenance purposes, handling incidents, or to decrease consumption. SAREF will help create new business opportunities and give an impulse to the creation of new customer services in an era of inter-connected objects. Once used on a large scale, households, businesses, and cities will receive better service, attain improved cross-sector efficiency, and will optimize their energy monitoring and control over devices due to higher visibility over generated data.