Have you ever lost your nerves looking for your cell phone charger? Have you ever misplaced your laptop power supply, to find yourself running frantically to a store and struggling to find a replacement? Well, you are not alone. Even if you say no - and I don't believe you - look around your home or your office: we are surrounded by these power eating bugs that spread in front of our eyes. I have more than a dozen of them home myself, and I'd like to get rid of them.
That is what Frank Paniagua, the CEO of Green Plug, thought too when he and his wife went away for a friend's wedding. They struggled to find plugs in their hotel room for all their devices. He realized that the situation with consumer electronics was getting our of hand. "There must be a solution!" he told himself. Frank had solved a similar problem twenty years ago when he led the VESA standard to make personal computers and monitors compatible accross manufacturers.
Green Plug is a 3 year-old star-up based in San Ramon.The 15-people crew developps an innovative and secure digiltal communication protocol between devices that need power and their power sources. I first heard about them at a Clean Tech Open gathering last summer. Since then, they have made progress on their quest to provide a universal power supply to the consumer market. I decided to catch up with them last week and chatted with Seth Socolow, Green Plug VP of Corporate Marketing.
The first impact of such a technology is to limit the amount of energy consumed as the protocol allows the devices to get the energy that they need. No need to remove chargers when power up is complete or overheating them. The bigger impact is likely to simply save the waist of energy and materials into making a charger for every new consumer electronic device. The new Alliance for Universal Power Supplies reports that 3.2 billion power supplies were designed and shipped in 2008 alone.
Just prior to the new year, Innergie introduced mCube90G, the first implementation of the Green Plug protocol dubbed "Greentalk". The Greentalk-enabled device aims to be the world's smallest universal power adapter. The year 2009 is starting with hope for Green Plug who also launched "I want my green plug" e-community to help build consumer awareness and gather support. Well, I want mine too!