Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I want my GreenPlug

greenplug-widget.gifWe have dozens of little power adapters, sometimes I want to use a gadget, but can't locate the particular plugpack or special little charger that it needs to live - the device becomes useless.

GreenPlug came to my attention a couple of years back and I've been waiting patiently for devices to appear. The recent Consumer Electronics Show was another missed opportunity.

Clearly, the profitable business in selling replacement plugpacks and chargers means that manufacturers have little incentive to move to a standard approach. A small chip, that talks the GreenTalk protocol would also be required. My understanding is that this chip is cheap, but perhaps it should be subsidised by state power suppliers or even mandated.

Imagine a world free of "wall warts", where your desk has just one mains lead into a clever little device with a display that shows all the devices and their state of smart charging. Imagine a world where there are standard charging sockets on everything.

To some extent USB has become the de facto standard, but it's not a great standard: only 5V, low current, and you still need intelligent charging circuitry in each device.

What can I do? I've voted through the link above, where you can nominate the gadget that means the most to you presumably to send the manufacturer a message. The other thing is to talk about this technology and take every opportunity to tell manufacturers that I would choose a GreenPlug equipped device over another in a heartbeat. Duh.

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