In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with "Insert Coin" as the subject line.
Decking out homes with smartphone-controlled appliances and using gadgets to keep tabs on electricity usage isn't exactly new, but the MeterPlug thinks it can do a better job of tracking exactly how much dough your devices are burning in electricity. The plastic dongle plugs in-between an outlet and a device, and leverages a database of electricity prices based on location and time of day to calculate how much an appliance drains from your wallet per hour, day, week, month and year. With the help of Bluetooth, MeterPlug slings data to an Android or iOS app, and shoots updated meter information -- stored inside built-in memory -- as you come into range. Sure, Bluetooth connectivity only allows for connected devices within 100 feet to be manually switched on and off through the app, but it also gives users the option of proximity control. MeterPlug can cut power to whatever is jacked in as users wander away, and restore juice when they walk back into range.