Best answer by Transparent
As I'm not an OVO employee, I can't respond on behalf of the company. However, it's a subject I've been investigating for the past eight months, and I can give you some fairly strong indications of what will happen.
The entire Energy Supply Market for the UK is shifting to half-hour (HH) variable tariffs!
No longer will consumers visit Comparison websites and lock themselves into 1 or 2-year contracts at set price-points.
This strategy is called Demand Side Response (DSR) and is already enshrined in the regulations issued by Ofgem. There is an excellent PDF of a PowerPoint Presentation by two officials in Dept Energy & Climate Change (DECC) which is worthwhile downloading.
The first step in implementing DSR is to install a user-base of SMETS2 Smart Meters. Those with existing SMETS1 meters will have the software upgraded. OVO have announced that they have the capability to do this remotely, probably in about 12-months time.
The next step is to install In-Home Devices (IHDs) and Smartphone Apps which allow the users to set up their default parameters. So, for example, you might wish to charge an Electric Vehicle when the price per kWh falls below a threshold.
Thirdly, people will start to buy Auxilliary Load Control Switches or devices with ALCS units inbuilt. A Smart Washing Machine can then be pre-loaded, but only started once the conditions you have configured on your IHD are satisfied. The Washing Machine gets activated from a wireless (Zigbee) signal transmitted to it from your electricity Smart meter.
What Octopus are offering is a small foretaste of what is to come.