Photography and Reporting by Deb Aldrich
Sustainability was a key theme at CES this year. And, among the many eco-technovations on display, was the modlet, the modern electric outlet. Offered by ThinkEco, a NYC-based company that was founded in 2008 by a "team of concerned entrepreneurs," the modlet looks like a high-end, glossy, contemporary wall outlet. ThinkEco designed the inside circuitry of the modlet and worked with Spark Design in Connecticut for the industrial design. As David Kaiser, President of Spark explains, "In the case of the modlet, we wanted a design that broke away from the rectangular shape of a standard outlet. We wanted to develop a simple and friendly shape that wouldn't intimidate the user." The modlet certainly isn't intimidating--it not only looks friendly, but it seems to be user-friendly. It simply plugs into an existing wall outlet, and when an appliance is then plugged into it, the modlet wirelessly monitors and manages the power consumption of that appliance. Since many appliances continually draw power, even if no one is around to use them, the modlet can help to eliminate that wasteful use of power by intelligently scheduling outlets to automatically shut off power to plugged-in appliances when they aren't needed.