Emily Pilloton

POWER AWARE CORD by STATIC!

by , 10/30/06

Power Aware Cord by Static

Sometimes it just helps to visualize things. The Power Aware Cord by Static! does just that, representing personal energy consumption through glowing pulses, color, and intensity of light. While most powercords are utilitarian (and in general, rather ugly), Static!’s aesthetic solution brings the issue of energy consumption literally, to light, urging users to be aware of and reflect upon the energy efficiency of electrical devices in their home. Just how does it work? Electroluminescent wires embedded in the cord produce varying patterns of glowing and pulsating colors to indicate the level of energy being used at a given time.


The Power Aware Cord represents a different approach to green design- one not necessarily rooted in materiality, but focused on user experience and the visual representation of relevant issues. We love the anthropomorphic approach that engages the user on an interactive level, creating an aesthetic and educational connection between object and person.

The glowing Power Aware Cord is brought to us by Static!, a joint project between the Swedish Interactive Institute’s POWER and RE:FORM studios. Static! investigates design as a medium for increasing our awareness of energy usage and how to stimulate changes in energy behavior. The Power Aware Cord, designed by project designers Anton Gustafsson and Magnus Gyllensward, is just one of many design prototypes conceived and produced through an active collaboration between designers, engineers, and artists.

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25 Comments

  1. niranjan May 10, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    how much this

  2. 9/21 補充 « September 21, 2007 at 9:56 am

    [...] inhabitat 對它的介紹 [...]

  3. Josh K November 24, 2006 at 3:38 am

    I had the same idea BUT with ear Phones !! – see the Music !!

  4. lil gay robbie November 17, 2006 at 3:02 pm

    cool, but arent you just wasting more energy to light the fucker up

  5. Eco Tom November 8, 2006 at 6:41 pm

    I find this an incredibly dumb idea. I might as well buy an SUV to remind myself how polluting they are.

  6. Vickie Haymart November 6, 2006 at 12:17 pm

    This sounds great but when will they be availiable?

  7. George Viste November 5, 2006 at 2:32 pm

    where do you buy them and for how much?

  8. The Green Guide November 3, 2006 at 2:42 pm

    It certainly is a great concept, turning something as hard to conceptulaize as energy into something visible to the average person. However, The Green Guide (www.thegreenguide.com) has looked into these power strips and they aren’t currently being manufactured on a wide scale. The company has only created prototypes suitable for European outlets, and when we spoke to them at the end of September, they were still planning on introducing the product in Europe first, with a North American model coming out at some unspecified point in the future.

    Even so, if enough people express an interest in the chords to the designers, perhaps they’ll speed their manufacturing along.

  9. me November 2, 2006 at 7:24 am

    I fail to see how this saves energy.
    Perhaps a case of “More = Less” (energy consumption, through light emission) ???

  10. Anders November 1, 2006 at 11:36 am

    A short film showing the pulsation would be nice

  11. Julie Niemeyer October 31, 2006 at 4:16 pm

    I do like the concept and no, it it wouldn’t work in every application…use discretion in dark bedrooms and around babies. It would work, though, in my teenagers dark bedroom to remind him to turn off his X-BOX before he goes to bed and not when I wake him up in the morning.

    So often this website has such great ideas but no info on where to purchase items. Can this be improved?

  12. Ryan October 31, 2006 at 9:37 am

    Won’t that just use *more* energy?

  13. RSS fabriek » Blo... October 31, 2006 at 6:10 am

    [...] Hij was al te zien op het onlangs gehouden NextFest, maar met verse foto’s op Inhabitat wordt pas echt duidelijk wat het Power Aware Cord nu werkelijk doet. Het is een stekkerdoos met elektriciteitssnoer dat de energie die er door heen vloeit visualiseert door feller op te lichten naarmate je meer gebruikt. Hiermee maakt het je bewust(er) van je energieconsumptie. Met mijn eigen huidige gebruik kan ik m’n verlichting wel uitlaten als ik deze cords zou hebben of is dat nu net de bedoeling? [...]

  14. Melva October 31, 2006 at 4:17 am

    This is a very neat product, but I agree with Energ8t – it seems like a sculpture rather than a power cord. It would be a very cool sculptural lamp or chandelier – and an annoying plug in cord. This is my first inhabitat experience and I love the cutting edge you represent. I will be back —–

  15. Ryan October 30, 2006 at 7:19 pm

    Man, when I was a baby I would have loved to play with power cords like that!

  16. Ann October 30, 2006 at 4:39 pm

    What a great way to actually ‘see’ how much energy we are using!

  17. Mary Ann October 30, 2006 at 3:47 pm

    GREAT IDEA! HOW SOON WILL IT HIT THE US MARKETPLACE?

  18. energ8t October 30, 2006 at 3:43 pm

    Ah yes another interpretation of energy usage through blinking lights. I like the idea this object seeks to address, but I am not comfortable with the notion of having a blue glow (or worse, pulsing lights) enveloping my bedroom with its, ironically, energy consuming presence. As I have had glowing and pulsing USB cords, I can say that they are annoying and make sleeping impossible (for me). Those that cannot take the lights, blinking or otherwise, would be limited to plugging in products that are not on all the time (i.e.- fridge, computer, etc.). Hence, I wish the “indication” emitted by the cord was a tad more subtle. I think the cord should blink 2 different lights; one for the product plugged into it, and one for the cord itself. (I would almost rather see the cord become a lamp in itself- hanging from ceiling mounted outlets or multiple cords twisted together forming a sort of chandelier.) Energy usage, in my opinion, is best “attacked” at its root. If a home is “green” and self sustaining in its energy CREATION, then the energy usage of products (in it) becomes less impactful on the rest of the environment. If we persist in creating products that “address” energy consumption whilst ignoring the base of the issue, we in fact render “band-aid” solutions and will continually do so until the “splinter” is removed. I do like this product in concept, but it does walk a teetering line to becoming injection molded “green” kitsch being sold at Goodwill in a box of unwanted powercords. (Don’t hate me, I am just playing devil’s advocate- props are still given)

  19. Bob October 30, 2006 at 3:21 pm

    Very interesting concept. I went to Static website but no prices listed for the product. Will the light keep you up at night or is it similar to a night light? If so, then Static should also use the night light aspect as a marketing concept. Good article.

  20. Julie October 30, 2006 at 1:45 pm

    This is very cool. How much is it and where is it sold? Julie

  21. katie October 30, 2006 at 12:52 pm

    Interesting product. Picture is reminisent of an umbilical cord. (connection between energy and our mother earth? hmmm.)

  22. Chad October 30, 2006 at 12:35 pm

    What a great idea…we should be much more aware of our energy usage.

  23. Jeanne October 30, 2006 at 12:09 pm

    When would this product be available for consumers to use since it would involve us all more directly in awareness of energy use and potential conservation.

  24. George October 30, 2006 at 11:55 am

    love the observation: green moving into user experience and visual representation. cool! great blog btw

  25. anna October 30, 2006 at 11:44 am

    fantastic writing! inspiring application of the green philosophy!

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