TED2009: Electric Fault Circuit Interrupter

200902051456 A description of Electric Fault Circuit Interrupter (EFCI) on stage at TED2009.

Smoke alarms are great -- they detect fires but don't prevent them. One of main causes of fires is electricity.

How does electricity ignite fires? Faulty, overloaded or misused outlets. 83% of all fires start at loads below circuit breakers (invented by Edison) trip.

By putting a 10-cent data tag (like RFID) in an appliance plug and a reader in the electrical outlet, you can prevent fires. The appliance's safe operating parameters are embedded in the plug. If there's an overload, the power shuts off. Also, outlets are off unless the appliance with the chip is plugged in. That means a kid can stick a fork in the outlet and not get shocked.

Can save thousands of lives and conserve energy.