Conserving energy without the penguins

A household monitor that's surprisingly subdued for a Japanese company.

OhGizmo

The most surprising thing about this household energy monitor is that it's made in Japan. Not because the country has anything against green technology, but because the device doesn't have animated penguins or some other irritating example of the country's kawaii culture.

The "Wattson Limited Edition" supposedly can monitor individual appliances and instantaneously provide information on the amount of power it uses and at what cost. OhGizmo notes that it's unclear how the gadget from DIY Kyoto connects or taps into the power lines, but it had better work if consumers expect to recoup the cost of the purchase.

The cheapest model goes for $250 and one with a "wood accent finish" goes for $710. Both are surprisingly subdued compared with something like Matsushita's anime-infested " Intelliworks ."

About the author

    Mike Yamamoto is an executive editor for CNET News.com.

     

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