Sony works on authenticated power outlets

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The name Sony evokes plenty of memories – among the more notable triumphs from the past included the Walkman, the Discman, and in Japan, the Minidisc format, while the world benefited from the introduction of the PlayStation, and subsequently, its sequel as well as the current high powered console, the Sony PS3. Well, one thing that Sony is famous for would be the proprietary formats that they come up with, and while we have seen them finally take a step back from being so “controlling” by allowing the SD memory card format to make its way to their digital cameras instead of just relying on Memory Sticks, here we are with another potentially liberating step.

Sony has decided to come up with smart power outlets, and I kind of like the idea that they are toying with. We are talking about power outlets that are capable of logging the total amount of electricity used, now how about that?

Known as the power authentication system, it is capable of knowing just which gadget has been plugged in. Currently, the system remains as a prototype, and will allow power to flow only if the device that is plugged in is recognized. Sounds nifty, so that your freeloading friends will no longer be able to drop by your place, only to charge their smartphones and portable media players as though you were running a hotel for charity. You, as the owner, will be able to determine just which outside gadget or gizmo can be juiced.

According to Sony, such smart power sockets might eventually come in handy as electric cars get more and more common on the roads as well as in garages around the world. Not only that, it can be a nifty tool to aid management of the electrical grid. What lies at the heart of Sony’s smart power system? Well, there are two types of wall sockets which can “interrogate” any device that is plugged into them. These sockets will come with sensors of their own, functioning with either Radio Frequency ID (RFID) or Near Field Communication (NFC) short-range radio communications. A chip built into the electrical device will be the determining factor for the smart sockets to read identification and authentication data.

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