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The vision: Why the OpenDCU will change the world.

the digital consumer unit

The ambition

The OpenDCU project is creating a global standard for the core elements of the digital infrastructure of homes and small businesses. This will increase consumer choice, and lower the costs of the next generation of home control systems. From the viewpoint of consumers, the top level objectives are threefold: Create a core home infrastructure device that can be transferred between service providers, to create an open market for home infrastructure management services. A customer should be able to choose between services in just the same way as they choose other utility offerings. Services could include broadband to the PC, but could also include the management of the core home device itself. Create an environment where standard off-the-shelf devices can be added to the home infrastructure without requiring specialized skills. The standard for the 240V/13A socket allows consumers to buy white goods from any supplier, knowing they will work when plugged in; the same should apply to data devices. Provide a standard processing resource to allow software services to be added to the home at minimal cost, just like loading apps into a smartphone. The capability of modern browsers has allowed many advanced functions to be delivered through the web at low cost, and independent of the platform on which the browser is run. A similar environment for home control add-ins would allow a whole new industry to emerge.

The impact

The OpenDCU project will be beneficial for the UK, and we hope for Europe too. The project will have the following significant implications: It will help to address climate change It will help to address digital exclusion It will kick-start several entrepreneurial ecosystems It will provide a good basis for innovation such as the smart grid It will provide export opportunities The technology will simplify the design effort for developers of add-on devices
The Vision