Right now if someone wants to charge you to use their electrical outlet, they need to physically block your access — or keep the outlet turned off — until you fork over some cash. But that could all change in the not-so-distant future.
Sony is working on electric outlets that would include some sort of built-in authenticating technology. This opens up possibilities for several ways you could be charged to plug in and power up.
The main example that Sony highlights in the video below is for charging up electric vehicles. The company says that EVs of the future will use connect to these authenticating outlets so that you can pay for your electricity just by plugging your car in.
Authenticated outlets could also be placed in public settings like airports, train stations, malls, and cafeterias and set up so that only people who pay — or at least those who are authorized — have access to the juice flowing through the walls.
And imagine sitting down with your roommates to split up the electric bill and knowing exactly what part of that bill each person’s devices are responsible for.
By that same token, anyone looking to cut down on their electric bill would be able to see which items are costing them the most money each month.
This is all just in the development stages and would require not only the authenticating outlets but also something to authenticate on each plugged-in device — or at least some sort of authenticating card or similar portable item for the user to carry.