A technology that could help the environment by eliminating the need to ship a power adapter with every electronics device got a vote of confidence Friday from consumer electronics maker Westinghouse Digital Electronics. Westinghouse said it had committed to using a smart power technology developed by a start-up company, Green Plug, that aims to let people use a single "universal adapter" to power their laptops, cell phones and other electronics gear.
Most products today ship with a custom adapter that converts AC power from a wall socket into the correct DC power required for each device. Green Plug's technology allows each device to communicate its individual power requirements to the power adapter, allowing several devices to share one adapter. The technology's success depends partly on getting support from electronics manufacturers, who will need to embed Green Plug's firmware into their devices so that they can send their power requirements to the adapter. That's why Westinghouse's support is significant.