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Jun 14, 2008

NEWS: Support Grows for Universal Power Adapter

Ed: My little bro...

Support Grows for Universal Power Adapter

James Niccolai, IDG News Service

Friday, June 13, 2008 6:20 PM PDT

A technology that could help the environment by eliminating the need to ship a power adapter with every electronics device got a vote of confidence Friday from consumer electronics maker Westinghouse Digital Electronics.

Westinghouse said it had committed to using a smart power technology developed by a start-up company, Green Plug, that aims to let people use a single "universal adapter" to power their laptops, cell phones and other electronics gear.

Most products today ship with a custom adapter that converts AC power from a wall socket into the correct DC power required for each device. Green Plug's technology allows each device to communicate its individual power requirements to the power adapter, allowing several devices to share one adapter.

The technology's success depends partly on getting support from electronics manufacturers, who will need to embed Green Plug's firmware into their devices so that they can send their power requirements to the adapter. That's why Westinghouse's support is significant.

"We know we're not the largest [electronics company] but we are the first, and somebody has to be first," said Darwin Chang, CTO of Westinghouse, which makes LCD televisions, computer monitors and digital photo frames.

Besides helping the environment, the Green Plug technology will also help Westinghouse to cut its costs, Chang said. Eventually it could stop shipping power adapters with its products because customers will already have a universal adapter at home, he said...

Green Plug Signs on Westinghouse

Remember Green Plug? That universal connector we detailed last month which aims to replace wall warts and help Mother Earth out in the process? Turns out, said outfit has just landed its first real believer as Westinghouse committed to using the smart power technology. Chang is hoping that utilizing said tech will help it cut costs by eliminating the need to ship power adapters with its wares, but we'd say that's being pretty optimistic. Really, the only way that will go over well is if hordes of other firms jump on the (currently desolate) bandwagon in short order -- any takers?

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