Apple files for home energy patents

New Apple U.S. patent applications suggest the Cupertino-based company is developing software and hardware to regulate electricity to devices around your home to help you better manage and lower your monthly hydro bill.

The Intelligent Power Monitoring patent would allow you to allocate electricity to connected devices on your computer such as printers, your iPhone, BlackBerry, and other mobile devices and peripherals that charge. According to the patent application, users would also be able to schedule power-charging times and automatically set the more energy-intensive devices to hibernate to conserve energy. The energy allocation would be handled by the Intelligent Power Communications Port (patent no. 20100007473).

 Back on June 24, 2009, we firstly reported the launch of Microsoft Hohm, Microsoft’s solution to efficient home energy monitoring and energy distribution. With Hohm, an entire web-based product, users can monitor their energy usage in real-time, even on a breakdown between appliances.

Google is also developing a perfectly competing online tool to Hohm, Google PowerMeter, that also essentially allows homeowners to monitor their energy usage in real-time.

Both Microsoft and Google have partnerships with various Hydro companies both in Canada and the United Sates, such as with Hydro One, to make the service possible.

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Chris is a graduate from the Art’s program at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is very passionate about photography and art. Write to [email protected]
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