Power-Aware Cord that is one of the exhibition objects part of the exhibition Visual Voltage has been selected to one among 50 coolest inventions of the year by the TIME magazine. The Power-Aware Cord is a results from the Interactive Institute’s research project STATIC! that investigates interaction and product design as a way of increasing our awareness of how we use energy in everyday life. The Flower Lamp, also one of the exhibition objects and a result from STATIC!, was among TIME’s Best Inventions 2006.
TIME’s motivation: “We’d all like to be more energy-efficient. But watching the meter doesn’t intuitively show how much juice is being used minute to minute. The Interactive Institute, a Swedish nonprofit that explores technology and design, had an idea: what if you could actually see the electricity flowing into your machines? The Power-Aware Cord embeds wires around a cable that pulse light in relation to how much electricity is being drawn off the grid. The more current, the brighter and faster the blue light spirals. In testing the device, researchers found that making the invisible visible tuned consumers in to their bad habits, nudging them to power down and offering some surprising appliance insights: when a radio broadcasts drumbeats and bass riffs, its electricity consumption jumps. Talk about being plugged in.”