ThinkEco displays its modern outlet at CES
ThinkEco, a New York City-based company that develops energy efficiency technologies for homes and businesses, will show the home version of its flagship product, the modlet, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Jan. 6-9. The modlet—short for modern outlet—is the first wirelessly-communicating intelligent outlet that saves consumers money by reducing energy waste from plugged-in appliances and other consumer electronics.
ThinkEco’s modlet will be available for home use this spring with an MSRP of $50 for a starter kit that includes a two-plug modlet and a USB receiver.
"There are more appliances and consumer electronics in homes today than ever before, and many draw power all the time, even if they are not being used. This wastes energy quietly and invisibly, in stark contrast to the very visible waste associated with other resources such as keeping your faucet on or idling your car," said Jun Shimada, president and CEO of ThinkEco, Inc. "The good news is that the modlet can help to eliminate this wasteful use of power by intelligently scheduling outlets to automatically shut off power to plugged-in devices when they are not needed, and then turn them back on at a pre-set time based on historic usage patterns."
Power consumption is controlled through the modlet’s web-based interface, which allows users to see where they are wasting energy, and empowers them to take immediate action by accepting modlet-generated savings-plan recommendations.
ThinkEco’s modlet was named an International CES Innovations 2011 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree. In addition to previews at the ThinkEco booth, the modlet will be displayed in the Grand Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention at CES in the Innovations Showcase.
AHMA Industry Confidence Index improves
The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index improved in December to 291.7 from 208.3 in November (October 2008 = 100), while the Future Expectations Index declined slightly to 224.1 from 256.9 a month earlier.
In comparing current sales levels to year-ago levels, 70% of respondents said sales were higher in December versus year-ago levels, up from 50% in November. For December, 17% reported sales were even, and 13% said sales were below year-ago levels.
Looking forward six months, 57% of December respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, down from 69% in November. In December, 43% of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months and zero percent expect sales to be below current levels.
Looking forward one year, 73% of respondents project sales will be higher, down from 80% who felt that way in November. Twenty-seven percent of December respondents project sales will be even one year from now and zero percent project sales will be below current levels.
Timothy S. Farrell, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA), said: “We are encouraged that 70% of the respondents to our December survey reported sales above year-ago levels. Together with our members, we hope that 2011 will bring a renewed focus in Washington on efforts to revive and invigorate the American economy.”
3M purchases composite maker
Building products giant 3M has agreed to purchase Nida-Core Corp., a Florida manufacturer that makes composite building materials, according to an article in the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal.
Nida Core also has a small French affiliate, Structiso, that 3M also is acquiring. Its products, which are used to build boats and snowboards, will help 3M build its composite and engineered materials product portfolio, according to the newspaper.