white box 2 Alyssa Bereznak

Mar 5, 2014

white box

Climate change knows no boundaries. It’s coming for our landmarks, ruining our burritos and — if you’re as reckless with your air conditioner as me — increasing your monthly electricity bill.

But an entrepreneur on the invention site Quirky has introduced a seemingly simple way to better monitor your electronics’ energy use. The circular clip, dubbed Reter, attaches to the external cord of any device. It then measures that device’s energy usage throughout the day, reporting its findings to an accompanying iOS app called Wink, via your home’s WiFi connection.

It can work with any multicore cable-endowed devices or hardwired items (read: air conditioners, space heaters and dehumidifiers). You can opt for either battery-powered or AC-powered options.

Though my colleague Dan Tynan recently noted that Quirky’s Internet-based creations often look cool but do … nothing, this little gadget appears to be a practical way to cut down on, or at least make you more mindful of, your increasingly moody energy bill. It could also help you settle a dispute with a roommate who might be a little too attached to her space heater. Or reduce your carbon footprint. You know, because the world’s forests are pretty much disintegrating in front of us.

The device is now in its pricing phase, so you can go ahead and tell Quirky how much you’d fork over for it. I’m thinking, like, $12 a pop? Any more and I’d rather just use that extra cash to crank up the AC.

Hopefully they’ll have this little guy ready in time for what’s sure to be a sweltering summer.