Your Smart Meter Could Become a Supercomputer

Forbes Magazine recently published an article detailing the plan for using your smart meter as part of a supercomputer platform. Eric Frazier, co-founder of Hive Computing, Inc. has the idea that their technology could connect your smart meter to thousands of other smart meters for use as a supercomputer.

Your smart meter is essentially a cellphone that is only active about 1% of the time. Mr. Frazier proposes that the central processing unit in your meter could work as one cog in a supercomputer network that would out perform Amazon or Google by being used up to 12 hours each day.

What is a Supercomputer?

Hive Computing says that if you link 10,000 smart meters, you approach the 1 teraflop ( a trillion operations per second) capability of a supercomputer.

If you harness a million meters, this allows two quadrillions operations per second, or 2 petaflops. Frazier indicates that this is a low cost solution to solving problems such as cancer treatment regimes, or optimization of a smart grid, or thousands of other problems that require a supercomputer, but are currently too expensive to run.

In principal it sounds like a great idea – as long as you do not consider the health effects of the folks who live inside the home of a smart meter that is on many hours a day.

How would your meter be used?

There are currently 50 million meters, and if they were all networked, this would exceed, in speed, the fastest computer in the world by about 3x.

Hive says your meter CPU could transmit data up to 12 of the 24 hours of any given day.

The cheapest supercomputer in the world

If all our meters transmit this much data, this will be the cheapest supercomputer in the world since everyone is contributing to it, one little smart meter at a time. Your smart meter, to be exact.

By comparison, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has allocated $44.5 billion to increase its computing capacity to 5 petaflops.

Meter manufacturers and utility companies are interested in this idea

Raford Smirth, VP, Corporate Development and Planning  at CPS Energy in San Antonio thinks the idea has promise.

“With the advent of the Internet of Things and the Smart Grid, utilities are deploying millions of intelligent devices – devices which, when interconnected, can form the basis of an impressive super computing platform. In fact, a 1-million meter deployment would be the equivalent of the world’s 20th fastest super computer. This represents an opportunity to do something good for society by growing low-cost computing capability while giving utilities an avenue to further invest in their metering infrastructure.”

If you are Electromagnetically Sensitive, what does this mean?

If the Hive technology is used, your smart meter will be in use up to 50%, rather than 1-5% of a 24-hour cycle. This means you would receive 10 to 50 times the amount of radiation.  Because the number of EHS individuals remains a minority so far, it is likely the technology will be introduced at some point in the future. Our hope is that there will be a choice to opt-out of even having a Smart meter on your home. This will allow for creative technology without harm to sensitive individuals.

*Image Gordeon Chibroski, Portland Press Herald

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