The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the increasing demand for energy efficiency, grid reliability, and demand response programs, and growing importance of technologies such as smart meters, communication networks, data analytics platforms, and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). These technologies enable utilities to monitor energy consumption remotely, detect anomalies, optimise grid operations, and facilitate billing accuracy. By empowering utilities and consumers with actionable energy information, the Internet of Things (IoT) innovation in remote metering smart grids enhances energy efficiency, reduces costs, and promotes sustainable energy practices. In the last three years alone, there have been over 3.6 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in IoT: Remote metering smart grids. Buy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

300+ innovations will shape the technology industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 2.5 million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, environmental sensors, digital twins, and network-on-a-chip are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Intelligent embedded systems, smart factory systems, and smart grids are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are contactless verification, wearable physiological monitors, and software defined wide area network, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for IoT in the technology industry

Remote metering smart grids is a key innovation area in IoT

Remote metering smart grids represent digitally-enabled energy networks facilitated by sophisticated monitoring systems, enabling remote control, measurement, and analysis of electricity usage. These networks are specifically designed to assist utilities in optimising their electricity delivery processes, minimising energy losses, and enhancing customer services. Moreover, they provide enhanced visibility and detailed insights into energy consumption, empowering consumers to effectively manage their energy usage and mitigate costs. By combining advanced monitoring capabilities and remote-control functionalities, remote metering smart grids offer a comprehensive solution to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of energy management at both the utility and consumer levels.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 70+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of remote metering smart grids.

Key players in remote metering smart grids– a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the

Patent volumes related to remote metering smart grids

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Itron 122 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 96 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 63 Unlock Company Profile
TaKaDu 62 Unlock Company Profile
Accenture 48 Unlock Company Profile
Electro Industries/GaugeTech 40 Unlock Company Profile
Xylem 39 Unlock Company Profile
Senseware 38 Unlock Company Profile
Kudelski 34 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 31 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 31 Unlock Company Profile
Schneider Electric 30 Unlock Company Profile
Hubbell 28 Unlock Company Profile
Consert 28 Unlock Company Profile
ONZO 26 Unlock Company Profile
LS Electric 24 Unlock Company Profile
THOMSON LICENSING 23 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International 21 Unlock Company Profile
SIPCO 20 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Gas 19 Unlock Company Profile
Freestyle Technology 19 Unlock Company Profile
Centrica 18 Unlock Company Profile
Apana 18 Unlock Company Profile
Visa 18 Unlock Company Profile
Trilliant 18 Unlock Company Profile
OK amba 17 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 17 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi 15 Unlock Company Profile
Masco 15 Unlock Company Profile
LG 15 Unlock Company Profile
Semiconductor Energy Laboratory 14 Unlock Company Profile
Mrh Meters 14 Unlock Company Profile
GRDF 14 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 14 Unlock Company Profile
Furukawa 14 Unlock Company Profile
Aztech Associates 13 Unlock Company Profile
Reen 13 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 12 Unlock Company Profile
Roper Technologies 12 Unlock Company Profile
Electricite de France 12 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 12 Unlock Company Profile
Phoenix Contact 11 Unlock Company Profile
Eaton 11 Unlock Company Profile
UtiliData 11 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 11 Unlock Company Profile
Charterhouse Capital Partners 10 Unlock Company Profile
Green Running 10 Unlock Company Profile
Mueller Water Products 10 Unlock Company Profile
Bidgely 10 Unlock Company Profile
Signify 10 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Itron is a leading patent filer in remote metering smart grids. One of the company’s patents focuses on advanced metering infrastructure for utility meters, a data collector that automates meter reading and firmware updates. The data collector communicates with multiple endpoints, sending firmware update announcements and multicasting the update. It then addresses missing blocks of the firmware update based on indications received from endpoints that didn't successfully receive all blocks during the multicast transmission. .

Other prominent patent filers in the space include General Electric (GE) and Toshiba.       

By geographic reach, Honda Motor leads the pack, followed by TaKaDu and Greenwave Systems. In terms of application diversity, SIPCO holds the top position, followed by Masco and Semiconductor Energy Laboratory.       

IoT innovation in remote metering smart grids revolutionises traditional metering systems by enabling remote monitoring, management, and control of energy consumption. The innovation leverages IoT technology to collect and transmit real-time data from smart meters. 

To further understand how IoT is disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things – Thematic Research.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.