Imagine this: A light switch that is more difficult to turn on when your home is consuming a lot of energy. You walk around your house and turn off all 5 of your TVs, go back to the light switch, and the switch is now easy to turn on.
Novel idea? Or just a silly gimmick?
Peter Russo and Brendan Wypich from Stanford University are the brains behind this invention and have even built a working prototype of the “SmartSwitch”.
This is a neat gadget and I can definitely appreciate the reasons behind its inception. But in reality this gadget isn’t useful simply because the type of people who would use this gadget are already environmentally conscious, so a gadget like this wouldn’t really be necessary. If people are indifferent about their energy consumption, then there is no hope in hell they would be willing to install this type of gadget.
Therefore, that only leaves one type of consumer: Someone who cares about their energy consumption, but is unaware that they are being wasteful around the house. I think it’s safe to assume that this represents a minority of the population.
Definitely a neat idea, but not very practical. Other more practical inventions will surely follow.