back to article Sony pitches pay-as-you-go power sockets

Sony tapped into the energy market this week to reveal a series of electric wall outlets capable of controlling the connected kit's power consumption. The electronics giant proposed smart sockets that only feed electricity to previously-approved devices. A separate digital hub unit will track all of the energy consumed. The …

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Trollface

Don't worry, it won't catch on, it's from Sony

It'll supply 165V 55Hz, have a different shaped socket with five pins (two of which authenticate the plug with the socket so you can be sure it's an official Sony plug), and you'll have to buy all your electrical equipment from Sony.

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Trollface

And then their customer database will get hacked, so they'll turn off everybody's electricity for three months until they've sorted it out.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't worry, it won't catch on, it's from Sony

Yup because Sony has a track record of failures like CD, DVD and Bluray /s (yes I know they were not the sole inventor of all of these but they pushed their adoption more than anyone else involved)

I'm not saying this is a particularly good idea but dismissing it just because it's from Sony is stupid.

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Facepalm

track record

really? Just..... really?

recovering from a massive attack, information stolen, all sorts of havoc being wreaked and they're talking about secure power sockets?

is that arrogance, stupidity, or just no sense of history?

I mean... really?

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Re: track record

No, it's just a money thing.

As in they want more of it.

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FAIL

Any sane use for this?

I'm guessing an RFID device in the plug. It would be handy for punishing teenagers where you can't take away all their toys but you can take away their ability to recharge them.

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Starbucks

Get your coffee and you get 30 minutes of juice.

I can see this flying

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Smart sockets?

Except of course that most mobile/MP3 players/game controllers etc etc can now be charged from a USB socket so you have to wonder just what they are aiming this at. You only need access to one piece of authorised hardware with a USB and you have free run of the park.

Good to see that have thought this through fully..

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Unhappy

Re: Smart sockets?

I'm sure they have thought it through thoroughly! It doesn't have to actually work, just has to appeal to the average PHB's desire for absolute control at any cost.

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Alert

I could see this...

Really taking off in the Hotel industry. Where this product would likely be used.

That said there could surly be a better way to monitor such usage, or in that rare case EXTREME USAGE, of such Electrical goods.

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Gold badge

Sounds like typical Sony, supplying technology designed to make people money rather than creating technology that improves peoples lives.

Who can forget their recent trick of bumping up Whitney's CD prices that backfired when they it got noticed.

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Anonymous Coward

So...

...no more recharging my laptop off the Janitor's power point at the airport then? Bugger. I'd be worried if it was anyone but Sony.

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Transaction costs vs electricity costs

How frequently must such a socket be used so the transaction costs are only 10 times as much as the electricity costs? If you consider a good relay starting at 2 Euros and the kilowatt hour being below 20 cents. You'll need to shift 10 kilowatt hours just to reach the cost of the relay. That's not counting the cost for the rest of the electronics as well as the effort you need to put in to charge up the "card".

A realistic end user price is perhaps 200 Euros if they sell it cheap. That's a megawatt hour. That's charging a hefty 100 watt laptop for 10000 hours. That's a year and 2 months, continuously.

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Well, obviously you don't sell electricity at cost price.

Imagine a kiosk in an airport that offers to recharge your laptop for £100. I think it'd do decent business. More, obviously, if there's a flight problem, a snowstorm or something, and kids going crazy when your video player or games box runs dry. There'd be a queue.

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Re: Well, obviously you don't sell electricity at cost price.

Those exist and they cost £5 last time I used one.

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I can see a use!

Dunno about you lot, but, where I work we frequently get warning about not using untested electrical equipment at work, especially at Christmas,with all those dodgy tree lights a favourite target.

Use these and problem solved. Bit of an overkill, but, at least I thought of something and didn't just criticise because it was from Sony...

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Re: I can see a use!

Sorry, you've got mixed up -- you're looking for the Apple threads, over that way.

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TRT
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Thumb Down

Oh my word...

Anyone ever heard of Walsall gauge?

Mind you, could be useful for remotely shutting down non-essential electrical draw if, say, you run out of nuclear power plants following an accident or disaster.

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Dear Sony

Please fuck off.

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Anonymous Coward

Nooooo!

Please El Reg, pull this story; if my (tight-fisted) Employer sees it I'll not only have to supply my own machine (if I want something faster than a 486), I'll have to pay for the lecky as well!

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Facepalm

over-engineered

They've never heard of coin-in-the slot meters?

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Anonymous Coward

Oh, I just thought of a legit use (amazing)

At work, everything has to be electrically certified and tagged before you can plug it in. Doesn't stop students thinking they can plug in any damned thing though. If they were just recharging their phones or laptops, it wouldn't matter, but when they are plugging in home-built stuff that presents a demonstrable safety risk (we have had electric shock incidents!) it is getting a bit past the pale! (They do have legit reasons for using custom gear, but is is definitely supposed to be tagged by a licenced electrician first).

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Re: Oh, I just thought of a legit use (amazing)

Yeah. We had a student nearly kill themselves with a home built guitar effects pedal collection. I had all my technicians trained in PAT as well so they could certify if a device was go or no-go. All it takes is a visual once-over. I wouldn't consider it reasonable to have every on of my 16 technicians carry a fully certified £3000 yellow box around with them just in case a Joe wants to plug in their own wah box, illuminated magnifying glass or stereo, but a visual check would have saved this student zapping themselves, and wouldn't have needed so much as a screwdriver. The yellow boxes, we had two per campus so one was always available for use within 10 minutes or so if anyone was in doubt. Saved a fortune on maintenance as well.

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