Canada-based Zerofootprint has announced TalkingPlug, a device that tracks and reports on appliance energy use and carbon emissions. The device plugs into an electrical socket and enables two-way communication with the Internet. It identifies how much electricity individual appliances are using and also allows appliances to be turned off remotely.
The TalkingPlug doesn’t require the presence of any other smart technology. All it needs is for the device to be plugged into a standard outlet (in North America), information about the device to be monitored needs to be provided and that’s it. The plug contains energy measurement instruments, on-off relays, appliance identification tags, and wireless networking technology to send appliance-specific energy consumption data to a local gateway for collection and storage. The companies online interface displays the data graphically, with trends and comparison measures.
Zerofootprint is working with utility companies and appliance manufacturers to launch the product globally. But the name might put potential users off.