In 2030 Sony Plans to Give Consumers Power Over Electricity
posted Sunday Feb 19, 2012 by Jon Wurm
Sony recently tipped their hand a little by showing us how they see the future of power distribution in the year 2030 with their prototype power outlets. About 18 years from now we will no longer be slaves to the power companies' monopoly on our lives and the pay-as-you-go way of life will have infiltrated more than just mobile communications service providers and charging stations for your electric cars and e-bikes.
The outlets themselves will be outfitted with FeliCa transmitters which are an RFID (radio frequency identification) technology that works over existing power lines. This is meant to allow the user to be identified and payment to be processed based on a pay-as-you-go-basis where the user can simply swipe a card across the outlet or automatically get charged based on the payment information on file with Sony. They would also give the user a choice from energy sources currently available so if your house just so happens to have solar panels and batteries or perhaps a personal nuclear reactor, you might feel better about having more control over power.
Leveraging this conceptual technology to make the world a better place has some major dependencies to contend with. Check out Sony's concept movie below and see just how bright and white Sony thinks the future will be.
Sony has mentioned they are working with other Japanese companies to bring these prototype outlets into reality but there are at least two big hurdles that Sony has to jump over for this type of technology to take off. The first is something that Sony can't control: the availability of alternative power sources abroad. The second hurdle is installation and management. It appears that these outlets will effectively replace the not-smart receptacles in the house or wherever.
If the FeliCa transmitters used the same standards for G.hn technology as the HomeGrid Forum community does, they might be able to avoid replacing outlets all together. While there certainly may be benefits with being able to control power on a per-device basis, I would want to be able to specify some parameters in the management system to keep from performing obnoxious redundant actions every time I want to watch TV or use my blender. What do you think, can Sony find a way to pull this off?