The IoT version of the Crownstone is an ordinary Crownstone plug with capabilities such as power monitoring, device recognition, and even presence detection, plus a SIM card. It is connected by other Crownstones through a Bluetooth mesh and can send data to and receive control information from the cloud. It is directly hooked up to a telecom network without reliance on WiFi, LoRa, SigFox. Coverage is just as good as for ordinary smartphones.
The IoT Crownstone allows remote on/off control of any device that is plugged into a 240V power outlet. If the moment that these appliances are turned on can be coordinated it can be used to pick up oversupply for example generated by sustainable energy sources such as solar or wind energy. There are several demand response aggregators active that build large collections of devices to deliver excess supply or control demand more accurately. In the Netherlands parties like Peeeks, Sympower, Senfal, Open Energi, Flexitricity, Kiwi Power are active.
The residential market is an important one according to Peppler, working at Ashden, a non-profit in favor of carbon reduction (source).
The key thing is making the hardware cheaper. Once you get time and variable pricing I don't see why this can't break into the domestic market.
This means that for the domestic market there is a large opportunity for telecom providers to sell subscriptions. The following estimates are the potential number of subscriptions per year that can be realized for the European market:
More and more devices get online. This means that suddenly there are pay-per-use business models possible. Companies like Bundles and Homie allow students or expats to pay per month or even per laundry cycle instead of buying their own laundry machine.
In retail there are many devices that would benefit from telemonitoring. The failure of a fridge can costs a supermarket a lot of money. Delivery companies can optimize their planning if they do not need to refill coffee machines or more general vendor machines if they only would have had an estimate about their use.
There are many subscriptions that can be sold (per year) for telemonitoring in Europe alone:
The Crownstone plugs work independently from the appliance brand. Moreover, the Crownstone can be physically locked with the plug of the appliance such that it becomes impossible to use the appliance without the Crownstone registering its use.
One of the largest markets around maintenance is still surprisingly the many millions of printers in offices. Preventing failure can be coupled to productivity and especially with office work that involves customers with the number of customers who can be helped per hour. Maintenance, and in particular, preventive maintenance is also important for millions of air conditions and heat pumps. In business contexts it optimizes planning of maintenance personnel and saves quite a few man hours.
There are many appliances sold that benefit from preventive maintenance and are often already sold with maintenance contracts:
The benefit for a telecom provider is that there is already an existing channel to the market of partners that have maintenance contracts with end customers about this type of equipment. Crownstone technology does not necessarily need to be integrated with these devices and can already send important information to those parties which would allow them to achieve all kind of performance goals and potentially save a lot of money.
Please, find a concise brochure on the IoT Crownstone plug here.