Sony, Tepco may bring internet of things into homes – The Japan Times

August 23, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Uncategorized

Sony Corp. and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. are considering teaming up to offer household services based on so-called internet of things technology, subsidiaries of the two firms said Tuesday.

Under the envisaged partnership, Sony Mobile Communications Inc. and Tepco Energy Partner Inc. hope to enable customers to control power usage efficiently and remotely as well as to check on the well-being of elderly people. Such services could be launched next year.

The two group firms reached a basic agreement on Tuesday to start talks with an eye to forming a business tie-up.

Sony could provide its data communication technology, enabling customers to monitor and control the status and power consumption of home appliances such as air conditioners and lighting equipment via their smartphones, including when they are away from home.

Sony and Tepco are also expected to consider a service that will check on elderly people by monitoring their use of home appliances.

Sony is among Japanese companies that are increasingly putting a focus on the internet of things, a concept under which products from home appliances to cars are connected to the internet.

For its part, Tepco hopes to attract electricity customers.

“We’d like to boost sales by providing new values rather than focusing solely on selling electricity,” a Tepco official said.