Images via Yanko Design
Designer Muhyeon Kim has created the "Insic Wall Socket" -- an outlet that lights up to tell you just how many watts you're pulling from the grid with whatever it is you just plugged in. The idea is that by instantly seeing how much power we're using, we're encouraged to unplug energy hungry devices as quickly as possible. We'd also become more savvy about how much energy we really use during the day, as well as what devices are surprisingly big energy hogs. But while it has its obvious benefits, does an outlet like this make practical sense? Normally wall plug concepts that involve changing out the hardware in dozens of locations in a house and that add to the electronic complexity of a simple device gets a lot of scrutiny -- after all, exactly how much energy does someone need to save through these new wall sockets to offset the embodied energy in the new outlets as well as the energy it takes to recycle the replaced sockets in retrofitted homes?
But while this concept still gets the harsh questioning, we have to acknowledge that it's a good idea overall. Too few people know how much energy their devices consume, and while power monitors are becoming more popular and a smart grid is on its way, too few people have any way of really knowing what they're drawing at any given moment during the day. This wall plug would put an instant number to each device, and encourage people to unplug it when they aren't using it.
Still, if this were to make it to manufacturing, it would quickly become a redundant device as power monitors and smart meters take a foothold in homes. A good idea that isn't all that practical.
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