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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Remote Control Meter Read Systems - Big Brother?


"Big Brother" is watching the meters on your MFP, MFD, SMFP - but is it a bad thing?

Is the phrase "Big Brother" taking on a more accepted meaning?

London has approximately 10,000 closed circuit TV cameras all over the city.

It appears that all these cameras have little, if any effect in reducing crime.

I was reading a post over at Corey's site, "Why Legislating Behavior Never Works". In this article, he describes California's legislative attempts to bridle each households temperature through radio controlled thermostats.

Further, the document 2008 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, available at, outlines the mandatory use of Programmable Communicating Thermostats(PCT) on page 64:

"Upon receiving an emergency signal, the PCT shall respond to commands contained in the emergency signal, including changing the set-point by any number of degrees or to a specific temperature set-point. The PCT shall not allow customer changes to thermostat settings during emergency events."

"...The PCT specifications require them(home builders and home owners) to include a "non-removable Radio Data System device that is compatible with the default statewide DR (Demand Response) communications system, which can be used by utilities to send price and emergency signals..."

Final adoption of the revised standards is scheduled by April 2009.

As it is at Home, so it Shall Be at Work?

I believe that consumer's likes and dislikes at home, translate into behavior and expectations in the work place.

I expect a negative response to the State installing a remote control device to regulate or shut off one's heat(and who is to say the same will not be done for electricity, water, etc.). I would also foresee this negative feeling to be projected at the office.

I would expect resistance - and yet I have seen little concern. Of course, I am in California so...

Apply this to the CPC model -

Invoice and billing complaints are expected to be reduced by accurately recording monthly usage levels, automatically and remotely - no more phone or fax-in meter reads, and especially no more "estimated meter reads". And if a copy of the meter reads are sent to the client, transparency is achieved.

But what happens when a dispute regarding response time does occur? Sure, the meter reads are correct, but what if you(the client) feel slighted by the fact that your service technician attempted to sell your employees Gucci knock-off's while fixing your Canon?

Or, color quality is not what was represented during the sales cycle, this never happens, but let's pretend. 

You refuse to pay for monthly service until your complaint is resolved. One day, it may be easy enough for the vendor to send a message down turning off your copier, your fax, your printer(s), your scanning capabilities, your fleet.

Does this sound a little like the ability your cable or wireless services currently hold?

Things That Make You Go, Huh?

Yes, yes, I know your "firewall".

Safe and sound behind IT implemented security layers, your MFPs will hum along as long as you like, even if you, the client, never pay a penny for service, correct?

There is this new thing out, it's called "wireless". The field filled not only with players like, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint but also Equitrac, Ricoh, and Kycera.

Check this out, Equitrac Corporation Announces Patent On TelemeTrac(TM).

And this little device is a remote meter read solution for utilities, designed and built by none other than, Ricoh.

From Kycera - Kyocera 200 M2M Module and Verizon Wireless' Express Network® Selected by Comverge for PPL Electric Utilities' Real-Time Automated Meter Reading Upgrade.
Expand into Green 

Do they manage print jobs, directing color to the most efficient device?

Do they recycle all the time?
Are all the devices on the network set to duplex as a default?
Are they all Energy Star compliant?

Do they even know what size shoe the company wears when leaving its Carbon Footprint? Perhaps your client is simply printing too much 
Tsk, tsk...but not to worry, all will be taken care of... 

The State can see everything and The State is not amused - "click", your
    "...output devices have been disabled until your Carbon Footprint is in compliance with State, Federal and Global Green requirements set forth in the Copenhagen Accord of 2009. Thank you and have a nice day."

None of this is happening now - There is little, if any, "bi-directional" communication occurring today between your copiers/output devices and the manufacturers/vendors/partners. I'm just asking questions, just questions...nothing more. I swear, I won't ask about your mother.
    Click to email me. 


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    Greg Walters, Incorporated