Friday, 26 February 2010

Save energy, learn from leeches

Here’s an interesting and obvious idea (obvious in the sense that once you’ve seen it you wonder why you hadn’t thought of it yourself).

Leaving electronic gadgets on charge wastes energy and is harmful to the environment, so we’re all encouraged to disconnect them when charged.  In fact it’s hard to tell when electronics are or are not taking energy and many never stop if they’re plugged in (e.g. cellphone chargers).  

But this device is inspired by the behaviour of a leech, which once full of blood will simply fall off its host.  In the same way, the charger physically disconnects consumer electronics from the outlet.  It uses a timer circuit and electromechanics to eject its plug which disconnects the device.

The pictures below show the before and after – there’s even a video, but I think you can use your imagination


       image     image


Called the Outlet Regulator, you might think this is a new product on the market, but in fact it’s on the web site of Conor Klein, who’s studying furniture design at the Rhode Island school of design.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is that he came up with the idea last autumn and it’s not yet on the market.  Where are all those entrepreneurs looking for good ideas to invest in?  I’d buy (at least) one, if there was a UK version.

© The Green IT Review

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