Smart Power Strip Lets You Control Appliances Remotely

With its built-in Wi-Fi, the Smart usb power strip allows users to remotely control their plugged-in home appliances via a smartphone app. From the iOS or Android app, users can remotely switch an appliance on or off. Other app functions include programming a timer to turn the appliance automatically on and off at a certain time, setting up a push notification reminder when appliances have been on for too long, and monitoring the specific energy consumption of different electronics.

Still in the early stages of development, creator Roger Yiu launched the Smart Power Strip on Kickstarter. The initial Smart Power Strip prototype features three U.S. power sockets, but the final model will include a fourth outlet. Yiu is also open to accommodating international backers interested in EU, UK, Australian and other plugs.

"We hope to have a good amount of backers for each type of international plug by the end of the campaign, as we'd love to make all of them available," Yiu told Mashable in an email.

At the time of writing, the campaign had raised more than half of its funding goal of $100,000. Those contributing $99 or more are promised a Smart Power Strip with four plugs and free shipping in the U.S. by April. The power strip will eventually retail for $199.

Yiu emphasized how this product promotes energy efficiency. "I believe when it comes to just as simple as a touch of button for someone to understand how much energy each appliance is consuming, people would have the curiosity to start using this function, to find out more, being aware the costs of it, and eventually help to stop energy waste," Yiu told Mashable in an email.

On the app, the energy consumption of each appliance will be tracked in real time with detailed statistics, including kilowatts per hour, watts and other measurements of energy use.

Similar products on the market include the smart home system SmartThings and the smart energy sensor, Wattvision 2. SmartThings uses sensors to control home appliances via hardware technology, and Wattvision 2 doesn't control devices directly, but tells users via a smartphone app or laptop the total energy consumption of their home.

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