Toshiba’s focus on Green is extending beyond planting trees, building eco-friendly laptops, and getting more bang for the watt on its products. Now it’s moving into IT solutions to help home owners do their own power monitoring. The company is showcasing its new IT Power Measurement Unit at the Hokkaido Toyako Summit in
The unit can be connected to a residential home’s power distribution boards, where it partners up with another gadget called the IT Home Gateway that sends the data about the home’s power usage to Toshiba’s Home Appliances server. The home owner can then monitor how much power they’re using at the moment, as well as over a period of time, allowing them to know what habits and appliances are sucking power and adjusting usage accordingly. A user can even track PCs and mobile devices.
There are plenty of gadgets that provide similar services, but the thing I like about this particular helping hand is the unit can also measure energy production from a home’s solar panels. This way, a home owner can know how much power they’re producing, and if they’re using more than what they’re creating – making it pretty easy to see if one can have a zero sum power use. And even better, the unit can be connected to other Toshiba appliances in a home network that can be operated by remote control, giving the unit the ability to control household appliances to minimize power use by switching them to power-saving modes at programmed times.
This could save a home owner a bundle of cash in the long run, as well as alleviate the issue of wasted energy and excessive carbon emissions. However, that cash savings will take awhile to be seen, since the IT Power Measurement Unit and the IT Home Gateway are sold as a set totaling nearly $2,000. This makes me think users are either rich enough to own a gigantic house where the energy savings is a big deal, or they have so much green guilt they need a happy pill. Still, if someone has the cash and cares enough, then this is a pretty cool system to hook up to.
written by Souptik Gupta, July 15, 2008
written by Cindy Adams, September 24, 2008
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