Emergence of a “Charging Revolution” Powered by the SMILE LOCK Communication-Friendly Outlet

PROTOTYPING REPORT

The latest chapter in the OPEN ROAD PROJECT has begun with the unveiling of the "SMILE LOCK" communication-format power outlet.
Now, with the debut of this unique new device, just how will the charging environment of the i-ROAD be revamped and transformed?
The latest chapter in the OPEN ROAD PROJECT has begun with the unveiling of the "SMILE LOCK" communication-format power outlet. Now, with the debut of this unique new device, just how will the charging environment of the i-ROAD be revamped and transformed?

 

The quest for "outlet sharing" through SMILE LOCK

The quest for "outlet sharing" through SMILE LOCK

For some time now, one of the key components in the OPEN ROAD PROJECT has been prototyping of the "Dokodemo Station" (literally, "Anywhere Station") charging concept. In actual practice, however, this prototype scheme does not involve construction of new charging facilities. Rather, the guiding idea is to effectively enrich the i-ROAD charging environment via active sharing of power outlets around town that remain largely, if not totally, unused.
Under the conventional format, however, outlets installed throughout our cities and towns are the property of individual and corporate owners. It goes without saying, furthermore, that such owners are prone to charge for the costs involved in gaining access to those outlets. Taking this situation under consideration, SMILE LOCK was devised with the purpose of bringing greater freedom to this flow of electricity and money.
More specifically, with SMILE LOCK outlets themselves equipped with communications functions, this enables the constant recording of specific users, when the outlet was accessed and how much power was charged. The result is a simplified system for customers to pay for only for the amounts of power they actually consume, thereby approaching the realm of genuine outlet sharing.
With the expanding use of personal computers, smartphones, tablets and other wireless communication devices in our daily lives, the environment surrounding "charging" has experienced dramatic changes in recent years. One example of this trend may be found in the growing number of cafes and other shops and establishments that are choosing to open their power outlets to general use. The question of how to build and further improve the charging environment is no longer an issue limited to the i-ROAD. SMILE LOCK, in essence, can be said to herald the move to a new stage of evolution not only for electric vehicles, for the domain of "charging" in its entirety.

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SMILE LOCK
The recognition-format power outlet engineered for mutual sharing of electricity
http://openroad-project.com/prototyping/smile-lock

 

TEXT BY Ryoko Sugimoto(contributor)
PHOTOGRAPHS BY Yuta Nishida

25 October 2016