We all know we should unplug our appliances to stymie standby or "vampire" energy, that trickle of power that occurs even when they are not in use. Now there's a concept wall socket that physically ejects unused cords from the wall so we can go green without thinking about it.
The PumPing Tap contains circuits that detect whether the plug is actively using electricity. If not, the light on the outside turns from blue to red, and ten minutes later if the device is still not in use a spring-loaded mechanism pops the plug out of the socket.
Frankly, it is hard to imagine a simpler solution. Others agreed, and it was awarded an international Red Dot Design Concept prize.
There are some tweaks the design team would probably need to make before this hits market. The biggest would be what to do with sockets that are behind furniture? It would be a major drag to have to crawl underneath furniture to plug your TV and lamps back in each day after work. And, what do you do with products you don't want to be ejected — like refrigerators, or items that would have settings to reset every time?
Of course, it could be argued, you could only install the plugs on outlets that are convenient. But could the Taps be modified to do more? Could there be a smart meter or on-off switch installed to deal with specific devices?
Since the PumPing Tap is still in the prototype phase there is plenty of time to think about the socket various uses and how they could be made even smarter. After all — as Kermit would say — it isn't easy being green, but the PumPing Tap is a giant leap in the right direction.