Fujitsu's guilt-inducing surge protector

New power strip charts wasteful ways in the hopes that you'll start using energy more wisely.

Feeling guilty yet? Tech-On

My big home entertainment system includes a giant TV, Xbox 360, Blu-ray player, Apple TV, and surround sound system--and an HDMI switch that ties them all together. I'm not sure I want to know how much power these devices leech daily through one surge protector. But Fujitsu wants me to know, and it knows guilt is a powerful motivator.

The company has developed a power strip and companion software that can visually graph power usage on a connected PC to keep people in tune with their energy use. It uses power sensors in each outlet of the power strip to monitor the power flow and can detect consumption up to 2,000 watts. It then displays a graph on your computer of each plug and overall usage.

Fujitsu says that with internal testing, it was able to use the metrics to see how much power was being wasted by connected devices that weren't being used. By powering down or unplugging these devices the company was able to cut power consumption by 20 percent.

We're not sure when or if these will show up on store shelves as Fujitsu has some more testing and refining to do. If they do appear, expect them to be strong sellers with the Prius and composting crowd.

About the author

    With more than 15 years experience testing hardware (and being obsessed with it), Crave freelance writer Matt Hickey can tell the good gadgets from the great. He also has a keen eye for future technology trends. Matt has blogged for publications including TechCrunch, CrunchGear, and most recently, Gizmodo. Matt is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CBS Interactive. E-mail Matt.


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