Apple has filed for two patents that would devise a way of minimizing the power consumption of your home. The two patents were filed last May and were explained to the public only a few weeks back by Patently Apple.
The patent’s outline a tool that regulates the power supply to various devices (such as computers, iPods, printers, and cell phones) using HomePlug Powerline Alliance’s communications protocol and power-enabled data ports.
The first patent deals with the ‘Intelligent Power Monitoring’ that gives the users various options to control the power to different devices. Users would have an LCD screen or a movable projector control to regulate the power options – such as putting a certain device into a standby mode after a certain period. The device would also give you tips on when to charge gadgets to take advantage of off-peak rates.
The second patent is entitled Intelligent Power-enabled Communications Port – and deals with a system that has the ability to analyze the amount of power allocated to different devices efficiently.
However, Apple is not the first infotech corporation to foray into the home energy management niche. Microsoft has released its Hohm, a web application that records the power consumption of a house and recommends better routes to smarter energy usage. And Google has released PowerMeter that also works on similar lines, allowing users to get complete information about their power usage and then devise ways of smarter power consumption.
Most of these utilities will end up using in-home displays to be the interfacing hardware, and are likely to have wireless home network abilities to allow communication between the various devices.