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Wilting flower dies as your energy use blooms

This quirky flower wilts when you use too much energy. It's just like a Wattson, but more interesting!

Sci-Tech

If powering up your amp and monster Freesat TV leaves your neighbours in blackout misery, this new energy monitor could be for you. Dubbed the Wilting Flower, it's a visual reminder of how much electricity you're guzzling at any one moment. When you're using very little juice, it's a perky little flower with its petals open, but as you use more energy it goes red and -- if you maintain your prolifigate ways -- eventually wilts and closes up. Subtle? No. Quirky? Yes.

Designed by Carl Smith of Doncaster, the Wilting Flower is essentially a fancy-looking version of the Wattson, Efergy Meter and OWL. It works by chatting wirelessly to a clip that you DIY install onto your electricity meter (if its as easy as the Wattson, you won't electrocute yourself). We like Smith's graphic approach to reminding us of our energy use, since most of today's energy monitors employ a rather boring screen that shows how many watts or pounds you're burning.

Sadly the flower's just a prototype right now, but there are hopes for a production version that would sell for £60. Watch this space; Smith's portfolio has more details and photos.

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