Electrical outlets pose different sorts of threats, most notably being to small children who poke objects inside them out of curiosity. The go-to method for avoiding this unfortunate scenario is using plastic outlet plugs that block the ports, but that’s not always effective. A California company called Brio has addressed this issue with a smart outlet likewise called “Brio” that only goes live when a valid object is plugged into it. In doing so, the company hopes to mitigate the typical hazards associated with outlets.
Brio is a wall outlet with a modern style that can be installed the same as any “dumb” electrical outlet. It distinguishes itself from traditional hardware by using an integrated sensor that detects when something is plugged into the outlet, which isn’t live by default.
When that item is detected, the sensor will determine whether it is a valid plug rather than some random object like a knife. If the plug seems valid, the outlet will turn on a 24v “sensing mode” to test the object’s level of resistance. If the resistance confirms the object is valid, the outlet will fully go live.
The company is currently offering the Brio SAFE outlet through Kickstarter, where it is seeking $50,000 USD. The campaign sits at about $44,500 USD at the time of publication, and a pledge of $139 USD will get you two Brio Safe outlets in addition to funding one for donation to a daycare center. In the future, the company is also looking to offer a Brio SMART outlet that adds WiFi and additional sensors.
SOURCE: Digital Trends