Sony Authentication Power Outlet Recognizes Users and Devices
Sony has developed the Authentication Power Outlet, which can supply power only to authenticated equipment.
It uses the FeliCa contactless smart card technology, with a reader/writer capability built into the power outlet side, and a FeliCa Lite chip on the plug side.
"For example, this dryer is used in the same way as you've always used it. This dryer's data is written to the chip built into the plug. When you set the dryer like this, it works just as if it had a chip built in from the start. When you plug the dryer into the outlet, the reader/writer recognizes it."
In this system, the chip and the reader/writer communicate through a wireless antenna. But Sony is also developing a version where they communicate through the power cable, without using an antenna. With this version, a chip can be built into equipment in advance.
"One feature of this system is, the reader/writer capability is located in the distribution board, which is the overall source for the power supply, so existing power outlets can be used without modifying them. Data in the chips in the equipment plugged in is authenticated via the power cables."
The authenticated equipment can be managed via the cloud, and its power supply can also be controlled. So for example, if demand is about to exceed supply, blackouts can be avoided by switching off non-vital devices, while keeping other more essential devices such as healthcare equipment and refrigerators on.
This system can also identify users and supply them with power for a specific amount of time. So in the future, it could be used for power outlets in public places and billing for electric vehicle charging.
"We haven't decided when to release this system commercially. We don't think this kind of thing can be realized if only Sony is involved. So we'd like to talk with other manufacturers, companies that want to use the system in business, and companies involved with power supply infrastructure. In that way, we'd like to create solutions using this system."