Kill-A-Watt Button
Kurt Maclaurin - United States

A very simple gadget, begging for people to touch it and saving energy in the process. The Kill-a-Watt is wireless, oversized beautiful button that is intended to sit on your desktop. Once the button is pressed, the Kill-a-Watt safely powers down your computer, automatically saving any unsaved documents and storing them in the appropriate location. The gadget draws the user into a convenient, desired role on saving energy in the workplace or at home, where people often leave computers on overnight.

Kill-a-Watt addresses the issue of people who do not have time to shut off their computers at night when they leave the office. Because of the numerous programs people run on their computers, it often takes time to close all the different software applications and people have to wait for their computer to shut itself down. While the wait is not a long period of time, it does not seem to fit into our schedule of catching the train, meeting our friends and colleges, or picking up the kids. At the end of the day, many of us leave our computers on all night so we can get on with our daily routine, and consequently consume unnecessary Kilo-Watt Hours when no one is using the machine.

The Kill-a-Watt allows you leave the office on time, knowing that your computer will safely shut down all open software applications and save any undocumented work in appropriate locations.

This gadget is not addressing the issue of consuming "phantom" power, power consumed by electronics in sleep mode. Those products exist. However, those products do not (yet) fit into our schedule. People will not cut the power to a power strip (ref. Belkin's Conserve Surge Protector) to save "phantom" power if they cannot first get over the hurdle of shutting computers down.

The Kill-a-Watt is a segue. From our current mindset of endless energy supply to an understanding that our current resources are limited and we must be conscious of the things we consume; the Kill-a-Watt appeals to those who might not go out of their way to save energy, but do want a sexy gadget on their desk.

Kill-a-Watt aims to appeal to all people using a computer. No matter our jobs or life stage, we can all in some way be enticed to participate in the efforts to use less energy. It is a beautiful, fool-proof and convenient way to encourage ourselves to turn off the computer. There is no software with this product. Plug it in and begin using it. The materials projected for use range from recycled acrylic to PLA and reclaimed tail lights from cars. Realistically, the gadget uses one coin cell battery to power the LED's and would last the entire lifecycle of the product.