One of the three key R's that often goes forgotten is reusability. The word certainly seems lost on the electronics industry, which manufactures 3.2 billion external power supplies yearly.
There are two key problems of the power supply industry. One is form factor. The other is the power profile. Each device needs its own specific voltages, current levels, and additional electrical characteristics.
An enterprising eco-firm, Green Plug, looks to tackle the second issue, creating the basis for a universal charger. Green Plug has developed a communication interface that lets electronics devices communicate their exact power needs to the Green plug power source, an industry first. By doing this, Green Plug has developed a charger that could work for everything from lightweight camera batteries to beefy laptops.
One key advantage of the technology is efficiency. The device can lower power consumption in most devices by allowing the electronics devices to talk with it in order to dynamically control, monitor, and optimize power use.
Green Plug's demo is so impressive that it won Green Plug CEO Frank Paniagua, Jr. the prestigious DEMOgod award at DEMO 08, an exclusive conference for emerging technology, held January 28-30 in Palm Desert, Calif. His presentation can be viewed here.
Chris Shipley, executive producer of DEMO 08, raved about Green Plug's product, saying,
It's the plague of the digital age... each and every device comes with its own charger, turning us all into Sherpas of cords and cables. For want of a standard, we're left in a tangle of electronics that have a short life before they're tossed to the landfill. Green Plug is changing that with a smart, programmable processor that is the basis of a universal electronics charger. The device will make its way into a variety of implementations, any of which will bring convenience while reducing the overhead of our electronics-driven existence.
Green Plug plans on supporting multiple simultaneous devices of different form factors in a charger that can be retained even when the user's electronics becomes obsolete. The result will be a supply that saves energy, thus saving the consumer money. It will also save space both in the user's household and in landfills across the country. With tech trash emerging as an important problem, Green Plug certainly seems to be onto something valuable.
written by Carl Foner, February 13, 2008
written by Fran McCollum, February 16, 2008
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