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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Electrical Outlet Adapter with Automatic Power-On and Power-Off of Peripheral Outlets", for Approval

February 20, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventor Augur, Dennis Harold (Fulton, MO), filed on July 24, 2012, was made available online on February 6, 2014.

No assignee for this patent application has been made.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates generally to outlets or adapters for plugging in electric or electronic devices, and more specifically to a multi-outlet adapter for powering down peripherals plugged thereinto when a primary device is powered down.

"As energy costs rise and non-renewable energy sources dwindle, conservation is increasingly at the forefront of the public consciousness. In both commercial and residential settings, individuals seek ways to reduce energy costs and to reduce their footprint on the environment. Many cost-cutting or conservation practices are incremental and serve as components of a larger, eco-friendly lifestyle.

"Many electronic devices serve as primary devices to which other electronic devices are attached as peripherals. For example, a computer system may have a printer, scanner, monitor, external drive, or other device attached thereto. Likewise, an entertainment system may include a receiver, CD and/or DVD player, a television, separately-powered speakers, or other components. A common feature of many such peripheral devices is that they serve no purpose when the primary device is not in use. Nevertheless, many people leave the peripheral devices turned on when the primary device is not in use. This is sometimes done inadvertently, and otherwise done to avoid the inconvenience of turning off all of the peripheral devices. Each peripheral device left on when the primary device is not in use consumes energy unnecessarily. This leads to an increased cost to the consumer and furthermore wastes energy.

"An attempt has been made to address this problem in the form of a power strip that automatically powers-down peripheral devices when a primary device is powered-down. Such a device suffers from disadvantages, however. For example, a power strip type device is freestanding, usually on a floor, and therefore takes up space and clutters the area behind or around electronic equipment. Furthermore, a power strip has cord that connects to a plug so that the power strip can be plugged into a wall outlet. This cord is another source of clutter and can become entangled with multiple cords already behind or around electronic equipment.

"What is needed, therefore, is a device adapted to replace a typical electrical outlet and adapted to provide for the automatic shut down of peripheral devices when a primary device is powered down. Further, it is desirable that such a device automatically provide power to peripherals once a primary device is turned on.

"It is further desirable to provide a device adapted to provide automatic shut down of peripheral devices then a primary device enters into a sleep or standby mode. It is also desirable to provide such a device wherein the internal circuitry of the device consumes as little power as possible, and generates as little heat as possible, while still providing the functionality above."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "The present invention provides a device for reducing energy waste includes an electrical adapter having outlets, including at least one primary outlet, disposed along a surface thereof, and a sensor for determining when power consumed by a device plugged into the primary outlet drops below a predetermined threshold. The sensor detects a change in current flowing through a component such as a fuse, a circuit breaker, or a length of wire. When power consumed by a device plugged into the primary outlet drops below the predetermined threshold, the power provided to at least one of the other outlets is interrupted.

"In another aspect of the present invention, the present device is sized and shaped to mate with a pre-existing electrical outlet.

"In another aspect of the present invention, the predetermined threshold is the threshold at which the device plugged into the primary outlet enters a mode selected from the group consisting of a sleep mode, a standby mode, and a power-saving mode.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of one embodiment of a device constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.

"FIG. 2 is a rear view of one embodiment of a device constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.

"FIG. 3 is a side perspective view of one embodiment of a device constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.

"FIG. 4 is a circuit diagram showing a circuit suitable for use with one embodiment of the present invention."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Augur, Dennis Harold. Electrical Outlet Adapter with Automatic Power-On and Power-Off of Peripheral Outlets. Filed July 24, 2012 and posted February 6, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=5291&p=106&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140130.PD.&OS=PD/20140130&RS=PD/20140130

Keywords for this news article include: Patents.

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Source: Politics & Government Week


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