TalkingPlug by ZeroFootprint : monitor and control your outlets!

It seems each month that passes brings a new energy management product, and cnet just covered a new product being released next week by ZeroFootprint called TalkingPlug.  While energy monitors like the TED 5000 are great at showing you how much power you are using, they are just a visual tool.  You can't actually use them to control individual outlets.  Apparently the TalkingPlug is going to change that on the appliance level.

From the cnet article:

TalkingPlug is a plug that fits on top of existing electrical outlets. But it's equipped with componentry to make it a controllable node on a network, including an RFID chip, microprocessor, and wireless networking. The company plans to introduce the product next week.

While the estimated cost of $50 per outlet may be a little steep to have sprinkled all over your house, it may be worth it to have on one or two power strips that control your entertainment center or other loads that are frequently left on.  The product is expected to be released next week.

Unfortunately the device doesn't do much to battle the majority of your home's energy usage; which is heating/cooling, water heating, and lighting (although the device will control lamps plugged into the wall).  While these units will only fight a percentage of your home's energy usage (appliances), it's a good start to begin understanding how energy is used.

More to come when it's released!

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