BOSTON, MA AND VIENNA, AUSTRIASmart meters are becoming increasingly pervasive in Europe. In the UK's largest smart-energy initiative, British Gas is planning to provide a million customers with electricity and gas smart meters along with touchscreen, in-home energy-management displays. These plans translate into major opportunities for firms like Ember. Ember-enabled smart meters with ZigBee wireless-networking technology are being deployed in some of the largest smart-meter projects across the continent.

UK's British Gas, for example, has announced the country's first commercial-scale smart-meter deployment. This initiative will help European homeowners reduce their carbon footprint using Ember-enabled ZigBee smart meters and ZigBee smart-energy devices. "It's the first step in our commitment to lead the UK into a new realm of energy managementas part of which, we will roll out two million smart meters to customers by 2012," says Petter Allison, Director Smart Metering, British Gas. "ZigBee as the preferred standard for smart meters and home-area networks combined with the over-the-air upgradability of Ember-enabled low-power networking solutions will ensure that we can keep our consumers up to date with the latest capabilities and performance improvements."

Ember's ZigBee networking systems, which comprise chips, ZigBee protocol software, and tools, promise to simplify the complexity of integrating embedded software, networking, and RF. In doing so, they ease the development of low-power wireless products in smart-energy, connected-home, and other remotemonitoring and control applications.