And now, the plogg.
A company in the UK has developed a plug-in electricity meter that relies on the wireless ZigBee protocol, which is now being evaluated for use in the North American market.
Called the plogg, it can be used by a business, such as a restaurant chain, to monitor energy usage for refrigerators and air conditioners, with all the data collected at a central server via the Internet. If an appliance was left running after hours, the plogg could be used to alert someone or could be set to automatically switch off power.
Energy Optimizer in England, developed the device. Ember in Boston developed the ZigBee transceiver used in the plogg as well as wireless mesh networking software to connect ploggs together to monitor an entire building or campus. The mesh software requires a module from Telegesis, also based in England.
ZigBee is the name given to the 802.15.4 protocol, which is designed to provide low-power wireless communications for networked monitoring and control products.