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1/6/2011
06:56 PM
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Meet the Modlet

For the first time in 83 years, a new power outlet emerges -- bringing smart building tech and energy savings to homes and businesses.

The power outlet has been the same for the last 83 years. That changes now with the introduction of a smart little outlet called the Modlet.

I know. It's odd to get excited about a power outlet, especially at CES where whizzy new innovations abound. But dig deeper. From New York City's ThinkEco, the Modlet is an intelligent outlet that plugs into your old outlet and communicates wirelessly.

It monitors all the devices and appliances plugged into your house -- showing you which ones suck power even seemingly powered down. It also has a distinctive smart home capability -- letting you control your homes outlets remotely. And you don't need an expensive contractor to deal with this.

Installing the modlet is just a matter of plugging it in to a regular outlet -- your appliances then plug into it. The system comes with software, too, that lets you monitor and ideally reduce your power bill.

As you might imagine, a picket fence of patents surrounds this innovation, the first of its kind in nine decades. ThinkEco told Techweb it's inking a deal with ConEd in New York to help reduce window-based AC consumption.

The modlet is available for businesses now and coming out for consumers, with the starter price at $50 for a two-plug Modlet and USB receiver.

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