Apple may already be the favored child of Greenpeace and platform of choice for eco-minded gadgetistas worldwide, but it isn't resting on its laurels. The company looks like it's pondering an entrance into the home automation/energy tracking markets, filing for a pair of patents that would enable devices to register their power usage and communicate with each other using HomePlug Alliance standards. Users would be able to monitor the charging status of connected devices and delay their charges to occur during off-peak hours. There's even a new type of plug that could internally perform AC/DC conversions and automatically provide the appropriate amount of juice to any supporting device. The end of the ubiquitous power brick? Sounds nice, but something tells us it'll be a few decades before we can reclaim that precious space in our carry-ons.