Is a Plug That Makes Annoying Noises a Good Idea for Saving Power?


Image via Yanko Design
Unplug stuff. It's the perfect way to stop vampire power, right? But what if you forget to unplug something you're not using? Designers Lai You Cheng, Liu Kai Ping & Liu Chen Guang have come up with an idea for a plug that could fight vampire power - or make you want to throw the device out the window. The Ace Plug makes noises until you pull the plug from the wall. Is this a hit or miss for eco-friendly gadget design?
Yanko Design highlights the concept. When a device is plugged in and turned on, the Ace Plug is a happy camper. But when the device is turned off yet still plugged in, the plug starts emitting annoying noises until you unplug it.

Sounds like a good idea for single devices that are at easy access outlets - at least until you get into the habit of unplugging and no longer need the aural reminder. And of course, it would only work for people who don't have hearing problems or are deaf. But a big problem is we don't see how this device will interact when plugged into a smart power strip. It seems like concepts that simply shut power off at the outlet when devices aren't in use are closer to the right track. TrickleStar, for example, is a device already on the market that makes a really big difference in cutting vampire power, without being annoying.

Also, one aspect of the plug that seems wasteful is that it has a built in battery and LED in the plug so when you squeeze it, it lights up so you can find the outlet. Unless you're plugging in a lamp, this seems mostly unnecessary and a waste of materials. It could be designed out.

Interesting idea, but we think it needs work. What do you think?

More on Gadgets That Cut Vampire Power
CES 2009: Trickle Star Combats Vampire Power With Simple Device (Video)
"New" Technology Detects and Kills Vampire Power Suckers
AlertMe Smart Plugs Help Automate Home Energy Use

Tags: Concepts & Prototypes | Electronics | Energy Efficiency | Gadgets