- Category: Technology
06 Aug 2012
- Published on Monday, 06 August 2012 09:36
- Hits (1073)
German researchers have developed a “smart socket,” an internet-enabled wireless power outlet that will allow homeowners to control the energy use of their appliances – even away from home.
“All household appliances plugged into one of these sockets can be switched on and off remotely using an IPv6-compatible device such as a smartphone or laptop PC – from anywhere,” said engineer Gunter Hildebrandt.
Mr. Hildebrand is a researcher with the Fraunhofer Institute for Communications Systems in Munich.
While the simplest use of the smart sockets would be to check if lights and appliances are on or off in the home when the homeowners are out, that’s not all they can do.
Homeowners can use the smart socket to schedule their appliances to perform various functions during convenient periods. For example, a homeowner could leave a load of laundry in the washing machine, and remotely turn the appliance on during off-peak hours, optimizing or reducing electricity consumption.
The system employs a specially designed USB stick that can plug into any compatible, off-the-shelf router to allow the user to forward commands to the smart socket. This also allows the smart socket to send data to the user on how much power the appliances are consuming at any given time.
According to Mr. Hildebrandt, this two-way control and communication function, plus the measurement functions of the system, is a novel feature that no other similar technology has offered before.