"Green Tap": NEC develops energy-saving power strip


NEC subsidiary NEC System Technologies has developed a power strip [JP] with a built-in processor, sensor (the device pictured on the right) and remote control that can cut power consumption by as much as 15% and more. The company says the so-called Green Tap, which sports four outlets, can be used by both offices and private homes.

The device can be used for all kinds of electric appliances. The sensor monitors various data such as the luminosity, temperature, humidity or human heat around it. If you’re out of the room in which you placed your TV, for example, the sensor makes the power strip send an infrared signal to the remote control, which then makes the TV go into standby mode or turn it off completely. If you return, the TV will be turned on again.

The Green Tap works similarly for air conditioners or heaters, automatically setting the temperature in a room, for example. It will even cut off power supply in case of an earthquake (the sensor has a built-in accelerometer).

NEC System Technologies plans to start commercializing its technology in 2011 but hasn’t decided about pricing and other details yet.