Activities and Schedule

Fiscal Year 2019 Activity Report

 The ECHONET Consortium promoted their activities focusing on those based on the ECHONET 2.0 vision, which contributes to IoT society and Society 5.0. The Consortium newly established the Problem Study Working Group under the Board of Directors to collect, organize, and study current and future problems in order to realize the ECHONET 2.0 vision. In December 2019, a presentation covering the above issues was given at the Second Home Appliance Open Innovation Symposium that was held by the Consortium (co-sponsored by Keio University). We also promoted reorganization of the concept of overall system reliability using ECHONET Lite, a technical investigation on the linkages between servers and a wide variety of services, promoting popularization among service providers, and encouraging improvements to the developing environment for newcomers, as part of efforts towards ECHONET 2.0.

 The Consortium has been continuously promoting its activities, including promotional activities to expand and popularize ECHONET Lite in domestic and international markets, efforts to make specifications into international standards, the continued operation of ECHONET Lite AIF certification systems, the establishment of new ECHONET Lite specifications, and activities to make revisions.

 As a part of domestic activities to expand and popularize specifications, the Consortium continued to enhance collaboration with the Japan Electrical Manufacturers’ Association (JEMA) and the Japan Federation of Housing Organizations (JUDANREN), while continuously making efforts to help the Net Zero Energy House (ZEH). As part of international promotional activities, the Consortium continued an initiative to popularize ECHONET in Southeast Asia through a joint research program with Keio University. In addition, the Consortium exhibited at the IFA2019 (Germany) and Smart City Solutions Week 2019 (Thailand), in the hopes of boosting international recognition of ECHONET.

 Regarding making the ECHONET Lite AIF specifications into an international standard, the Consortium collaborated with the Kanagawa Institute of Technology (entrusted with the International Standard Development Project by the Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau) and obtained approval to make AIF specifications between home air conditioners and HEMS controllers an international standard under the NEW WORK ITEM PROPOSAL (CDV) of ISO/IEC JTC1 SC25 WG1. The vote began in January 2020.

 The Consortium made ongoing efforts to run the ECHONET Lite AIF certification system. This year, new certifications were registered including 100 ECHONET Lite certifications, 56 controllers for ECHONET Lite AIF certifications, and 65 devices. This brought the cumulative total of certification registration to 766 ECHONET Lite certifications, 282 controllers for ECHONET Lite AIF certification, and 256 devices.

 As a part of the new establishment of and activities to make revisions to ECHONET Lite specifications, the Consortium formulated AIF specifications between home air conditioners and HEMS controllers Version 1.10 and AIF specifications between hybrid water heaters and HEMS controllers Version 1.00. We also established the APPENDIX Detailed Requirements for ECHONET Device Objects (Release L and M) with newly added classes such as the “hybrid water heater class”. We further established ECHONET Lite WebAPI Guidelines (device specifications) Version 1.1.0, with added devices (bringing the total from 13 to 28), and updated the experimental cloud environment to help further understanding of the specifications of the Guidelines and verify their operations.

Fiscal Year 2020 Business Plan

 According to the current popularization status of ECHONET Lite products we investigated in May 2020, the cumulative number of shipped products certified under ECHONET Lite specifications reaching nearly 32.5 million units in total. There is no doubt that ECHONET Lite products will spread to houses, as low-voltage smart electric energy meters will be installed in all houses in Japan by 2024. Since 121 products were registered during 2019 to the AIF certification system that started in April 2016, it is expected that more and more products will be popularized in markets via the AIF certification system in the near future.

 Continuing from the previous year, the Consortium promotes activities towards ECHONET2.0 that further makes contributions to IoT society/Society5.0, with the aim of “Popularize world’s best IoT houses and IoT offices” and “Promote and develop international standard I/F represents Japan, that can make contribution to economic growth and resolution of social problems”. Specifically, in addition to continuing the activities it was involved in last year, the Consortium will promote new studies on specific liaisons with the smart home subcommittee of the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) to strengthen collaboration with service providers. To facilitate promotional activities overseas, we will jointly establish the Data Linkage Study Working Group under the Technical Committee and the Promotion Committee, while deliberating on the feasibility of collaboration with other groups overseas and in Japan based on the control commands. Also, the Consortium will be involved in joint research with the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) to achieve systematization of ECHONET Lite through ontology. To promote activities focused on the ECHONET2.0, the Consortium will continue operation of Problem Study Working Group under the Board of Directors Meeting, in order to realize ECHONET2.0.

 The Consortium will also continue studying ongoing domestic and global promotional activities, the formulation of new specifications, revisions of existing specifications, and technology to support future IoT.

 To promote popularization in Japan, we will continue collaboration with related institutions such as the Japan Electrical Manufacturers’ Association (JEMA) and the Japan Federation of Housing Organizations (JUDANREN), while boosting promotional activities to assist with ZEH projects and exhibitions. To promote popularization overseas, we will continue business model study educational class using ECHONET Lite specifications through joint research with Keio University, and strengthen activities to spread ECHONET Lite in Southeast Asia.

 We will also promote activities to make AIF specifications into international standards in collaboration with the Kanagawa Institute of Technology, based on METI’s project for developing international standards and popularization overseas. At the same time, we will make efforts to improve the status of ECHONET Lite Specifications through activities at international standardization groups, including IEC.

 For the AIF certification system, the Consortium will continually improve certification tests based on market feedback, while expanding test objects and improving various specifications. Other than the above, formulation and maintenance of ECHONET Lite and AIF specifications will be promoted.

 In addition to the above, as Consortium activities, the Committee will participate in the study group hosted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The Committee will also promote the formulation and revision of standards by bringing in opinions from relevant industry groups and respective related industry associations and member companies. Furthermore, with an aim to promote ECHONET Lite specifications and expand home networks and the IoT market, the Committee will provide support to government, domestic and foreign industry associations and member companies in response to their requests for support. In order to implement the abovementioned specific activities and to establish a sustainable operation basis, the Committee will continuously strengthen its organization and operation system.

Action schedule Fiscal Year 2020

April Call for ECHONET Equipment Object Proposals (Release N)
May Report on the number of ECHONET Lite specifications / AIF specification conformance certifications
June The 7th Regular general meeting (June 3)
Report on ECHONET Lite compatible product shipment status survey results
July The 13th Forum (July 3)
September The 24th Plug Fest (September 3-4, Tokyo)
Exhibit at IFA 2020 Berlin, Germany & Web (September 3-5)
October Call for ECHONET Equipment Object Proposal (Release O)
Exhibit at CEATEC 2020 (Oct. 20-23)
November Exhibit at Thailand Building Fair Bangkok, Thailand (November 25-27)
Exhibit at Enlit Europe Milan, Italy (November 30-Decmber 2)
December ECHONET Consortium Symposium and reception (planned for early December)
January Exhibit at ENEX2020 and Smart Energy Japan 2020 (January 27-29)
February The 25th PlugFest (Tokyo) The 14th Forum (Tokyo)
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