You can think of SunPower's capabilities with Tendril as a piece of the home of the future. SunPower will provide local energy production with solar panels, and with energy storage and connected devices SunPower can intelligently plan energy production and consumption based on consumers' desires. If a consumer wants to consume as little energy as possible the system can be set for that, just as it could be set to consume as much of your own energy production, or optimize for cost if there are rewards for sending energy to the grid at peak times. All of this will work in the background, similar to a car's eco mode, but it'll work to make energy more dynamic and controllable for consumers.
This will also be important for sales in a diverse number of locations. Different states and countries compensate solar energy producers in different ways, and in the future, demand response, dynamic pricing, and even net metering may look different than they do today. With intelligent energy production, consumption, and energy storage, a world of possibilities are opening up to adapt to the future.
SunPower isn't going to control the smart home of the future, but it'll be a big piece of the pie. It will tie into a system like Home Kit for iOS or Control 4, which are the central controls for smart homes. It'll feed data to these systems, and from there washing machine cycles, air conditioning, and more can be controlled based on a consumer's desires.
Read more: http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/12/17/solar-energy-becoming-a-key-component-in-the-conne.aspx