Westinghouse made an announcement at the second meeting of the Alliance for Universal Power Supplies that it’s committed to supporting Green Plug’s universal power adapter technology by implementing it into its line of laptops, cell phones, and other electronics. It hopes to use the technology to cut its costs of shipping power adapters with their devices.
Plus, Green Plug needs electronics manufacturers to support its technology and hopes to use Westinghouse as a first adopter. It’s expected to go on sale at the beginning of next year at under $100.
According to PC World Business Center, The adapter works in conjunction with firmware installed on the device to be powered. It simply tells the adapter what its power requirements are, and the adapter makes the necessary modifications to supply it.
It can also support multiple devices being plugged in at the same time. Once the device has been fully charged, the adapter simply shuts off its power supply.
A universal power adapter is definitely something the electronics market needs. More than 3 billion power adapters are scheduled to be shipped this year, according to Greg Lefebre of the environmental consultancy ESS.
434 million consumer electronics, 130 million of which are cell phones, are suppose to be out of date this year, sending their power adapters to the nearest landfill.
However, there are several hurdles that the company has to overcome.
The first is getting other electronic manufacturers to use the technology. Most manufacturers get additional revenue when they sell power adapters separately. Some people like Code Cubitt of Motorola Ventures think that selling something without a power adapter leaves a bad impression on the company.
Then there are the legal issues they have to consider. If someone starts a fire because they used the Green Plug adapter with another universal adapter, then both companies have to go to court and prove that they adhered to industry standards, Armando Castro of the law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius expressed.
I think a universal power adapter is a great idea. I have an 8-plug power adapter at home that I sometimes use to power my laptop, DS Lite, PSP, cell phone, TV, lamp… you get the idea. It can be cumbersome when I go off on vacation and I have to take three or four different power adapters with me.
Sometimes I even have to take a power strip too. There’s always the threat of starting a fire if I plug in too many devices at once, which I do worry about. Something like this is definitely a device I’d buy. I’m interested to see how Green Plug does in getting other manufacturers on board.