Aiming to assist energy use monitoring, Zerofootprint has introduced the TalkingPlug, a small apparatus that plugs into a regular electrical duplex receptacle outlet and enables two-way communication via the Internet. Developed through a technology partnership with 2D2C, Inc., a company focused on electrical safety and energy usage, the TalkingPlug aims to identify exactly how much electricity individual appliances use, and also allows users to remotely or automatically turn off appliances when they are not needed.
TalkingPlug works independently or along with existing monitoring technology. It does not require the presence of any other smart technology, and does not require users to rewire circuits or upgrade appliances. Users simply insert the TalkingPlug into a standard outlet and provide a bit of information about the device to be monitored.
Each TalkingPlug electrical outlet contains energy measurement instruments, on-off relays, appliance identification tags, and wireless networking technology. Every TalkingPlug outlet serves as a wireless communication node on a building energy network, and these nodes send appliance-specific energy consumption data to a local gateway for data collection and storage.
Zerofootprint's VELOpulse interface visually displays the data using graphical meters and shows trends and reports on how energy use compares to that of others. VELO web-based software can analyze, compare and display this energy consumption data. In addition, Zerofootprint is currently working with utility companies, appliance manufacturers and technology resellers to bring the product to market globally.