Big Ideas from a Technology Leader
The Itron Idea Labs team is made up of experienced entrepreneurs and engineers across the globe who want to make a difference in energy and water resourcefulness. Our team extends Itron's expansive knowledge—in utility operations, technologies and services—to uncover innovative solutions to challenges facing utilities and smart cities. We work closely with Itron's worldwide customer base to confirm a project's validity and direction, quickly bringing new ideas and new technology to the market.
We then collaborate and partner with established companies—as well as start-ups—to bring best-of-breed thinking and capabilities to a project. Projects that are proven as business opportunities are transitioned into Itron's core business for delivery to you, our customers, so you can solve new challenges in new ways.
Itron Idea Labs is made up of people with a broad range of technical and business experience, each with a unique perspective and insight into discovering new business models to an array of different problems. It is this breadth that gives Itron Idea Labs the ability to be nimble in its approach to project conception, validation, development and transition to commercialization.
Here are a few examples of Itron Idea Labs' projects:
Solar Asset Management
The Itron Solar Gate communication gateway correlates solar production and premise consumption data, and can allocate how extra capacity is utilized—all while providing granular data on the health of the solar installation relative to its surrounding environmental variables. This benefits solar leasing companies, local electricity utilities and the consumer to understand how solar generation is optimized.
Itron Mobile is a tool kit for collecting data and performing other field activities. It takes advantage of the latest mobile technologies used by utility employees. The Itron Mobile app runs on smart phones, tablets and laptops. It is available for Android, Apple iOS and Windows 10. Itron Mobile combines walk-by and drive-by features in a single app and leverages mobile technology to deliver valuable new outcomes.
Electrical Phase Identification
Electric power is distributed in three phases with a specific phase going to each meter. Outages and other events can cause the different phases to be misaligned with their respective meters. This can lead to inaccurate data, outage management issues, load imbalances, wasted crew time and neutral current errors. Itron Idea Labs’ machine learning software accurately identifies a meter’s phase without the need for expensive hardware or field crews.
Itron Idea Labs was established to break the bonds of traditional product marketing, development and engineering practices. Its goal is to discover new business models quickly, fearlessly and relentlessly.
Working in a fast-to-fail style utilizing lean startup methodologies, the Itron Idea Labs team engages with customers, builds minimum viable products, and ascertains the market applicability. If an idea does not align with customer needs, we move on to the next project. All at an accelerated pace and without fear of failure.
We are always evaluating the bottom line, asking some simple questions: is the business model viable and is it addressing a need? If not, what did we learn from the experience and where do we go now?
Who is Interested in Itron Idea Labs?
Itron Idea Labs benefits customers by incubating new and innovative solutions to business challenges. Our customers can play a pivotal role in the development of those new solutions by working with Itron Idea Labs in the early stages of a project's conception, providing input into feature sets and outcomes to meet specific needs. Because of accelerated development cycles, customers realize a faster time to market for new solutions that address their challenges.
Itron Idea Labs realizes that collaborating with other companies is critical to its success, seeking best-of-breed capabilities in a project's development. Company collaborations assist in the creation of new business opportunities to solve pressing energy and water challenges. Itron Idea Labs is building a growing partner ecosystem with a wide range of companies.
With the never-ending need for business growth, Itron Idea Labs provides Itron with the opportunity to create new business models in existing core energy and water markets and enter new markets for new revenue opportunities. The agile approach used at Itron Idea Labs optimizes capital and resources to reduce new market entry risks.
Want to learn more about Itron Idea Labs? Send your questions to ItronIdeaLabs@itron.com.