It’s not enough that Apple has their eye on your management of music and video. It appears they want to corner the home energy management sector, too. A CNET Green Tech article indicates that Apple has applied for two (2) patents to lower electric bills “by optimizing how power is supplied to various electronics, such as computers, peripherals, and iPods,”
Using the HomePlug Powerline Alliance’s communications protocol devices can be shared over a residence or business’ existing wiring. A neat Apple-patented-applied-for application called “Intelligent Power Monitoring” would reduce your energy consumption by alerting you of off-peak rates to recharge devices or reduce the power draw of devices (such as laptops) to receive just the amount of electricity it needs to operate.
Apple is not alone in interest. Google has developed a web application for monitoring home energy called PowerMeter, and Microsoft has a web app called Hohm to help reduce energy use through behavioral changes. I predict someday very soon a smartphone over a 4G network (sans SprintPCS) will have have enough power or “cloud” access to push our laptop computers to the desktop. Home energy apps, music, video, phone, email will co-exist in robust fashion on our phones. When you see a HDMI port become available on smartphones then we’re only a couple-of-steps away from connecting these phones to an external LCD panel and keyboard to use when we require a larger screen. We may have to wear a lead shield to handle the cell phone emissions (i.e.- only half-kidding) but we’ll be there inside a couple of years.