updated 02:35 pm EST, Tue February 14, 2012
Sony developing smart outlets that ID users
Sony is working on power outlets that could restrict flow of energy based on who plugs in, The Verge has learned. Sony would apply its NFC-based FeliCa payment tech and use it to determine identities and permissions, with applications likely to include selling power in public areas, preventing theft, and in large corporate buildings for employees. Each outlet would be equipped with an IC chip that could be made to read information from a similar chip built into the plug or a portable device with an NFC chip.
FeliCa, or Felicity Card, is a contactless smart card system already in use in Japan for mobile payments. The power adaptation is still in the early stages, however, and there is competition in place from wireless provider DoCoMo's Qi wireless charging standard, which is wireless and free.