Power-Saving Plug Concept Highlights Hits and Misses in Device Design


Image via Yanko

Power-saving plug concepts have become a dime a dozen, and most of them aren't actually all that useful or practical. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case with the latest design shown off over at Yanko called the Sticord Power Saving Plug. It has a clever premise - changing the cord into an on-off button that cuts the connection to the power supply - but there are issues. Not only does it mildly scold us for being lazy with it's "this is NOT difficult" message, but it underscores a big problem in the designs of these phantom power eliminator concepts.

The main issue is hardware manufacturing - this isn't a (no pun intended) plug-n-play design. It requires a lot of re-manufacturing for cords which means unnecessary energy and materials used. It requires the designers of products to rejigger their cords, and it requires consumers to rethink their interaction with devices. That's two things that are *really* tough to implement.

While we wait for all chargers to simply stop sucking up power when a gadget is done charging (the most obvious solution), we instead enjoy seeing designs more like Ploggs, which plug into outlets and can be controlled remotely to cut power to individual devices, or TrickleStar which shuts off power to components of a whole system when the devices aren't in use, similar to a smart power strip.

And as far as concepts go, we think ideas like the Outlet Regulator are both smart and funny, and do a much better job than less practical solutions like this or the noise-making plug we saw awhile back.

All said, what we really need are device manufacturers to take a cue from companies like AT&T; who released a zero-watt charger - there's just no reason to have vampire power be an issue anymore when it comes to most gadgets.

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