Turn off vampire gadgets with your smartphone

An orange circle means an idle device is sucking your power.

(Credit: Valta)

If you’re cranking your AC to beat the heat, you probably don’t care too much about standby, or vampire, power. That’s the juice electronics suck when they’re off or in standby mode.

While it’s slight, it adds up to huge national figures. Household modems and routers in nearly 90 million U.S. homes, for instance, are estimated to eat up about $1 billion in electricity annually as they’re idling.

That’s why smart home appliances like Valta make sense. It’s a Canadian concept for an energy management system that’s sensitive enough to show when devices aren’t in use to cut electricity waste.

The focus of a $100,000 Kickstarter campaign, Valta consists of sockets for electrical outlets, a communications hub, and an app. The sockets have chipsets that can detect when a device is just leeching power.

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