Recently, I received an e-mail from a senior studying business at Seattle Pacific University named Jamie. The student said they are part of a team writing a comprehensive business plan regarding a power strip that automatically shuts off power in stand-by mode. Turns out two of her teammates have created a working prototype, which will participate in a number of competitions.
The student, Jamie Durbin, sounds pretty excited: “We are super passionate about our product: it would save energy and save consumer(s) $100+ on their annual energy bills. We are seeking venture capital at the competitions to launch our product line and hopefully serve the environmentally-minded (smart) consumer.”
Basically, the device senses when something switches to idle mode and can turn it off, saving energy.
Sounds kinda cool, eh? Here’s where you can help: Jamie’s team needs 1,000 respondents to an online survey. If you click here and spend 5 minutes, you could really help them out.
Overall, the product seems pretty handy. Even though I have power strips, there are often times when I simply forget to switch them off. Having a device do that automatically would take care of those moments.
Here’s a description of the product:
The controlled outlets have four main functions.
1) Able to sense when an appliance switches to idle mode
2) Able to turn the appliance off after a period of time in idle mode. To achieve this functionality, the device will monitor how long an appliance has been in an idle power state and remove power when it has been in the idle mode for a user specified period of time.
3) Able to restore power to each appliance once the user wants to use the appliances again. When the power is cut, the device will use a motion sensor to determine if anyone is around the device. If the motion sensor is tripped then it will reconnect power to the appliance; when the user turns the appliance off the cycle will begin again.
4) MOST IMPORTANT, the device will reduce power consumption. The maximum expected consumption of the power strip itself will be under 1 watt. It will completely eliminate the standby power for the controlled appliances.
What do you think? Are they on the right track? If you think they are, answer the survey and help ’em out.