Sony’s new concept, the Authentication Power Outlet, has an embedded chip that can be programmed to not only recognize individual gadgets, but individual users, and control their access to electricity. It uses either NFC or RFID technology coupled with chips embedded in your devices, and an ID embedded with the device’s chip can be used to identify individual users. The outlet then monitors all your connected devices, and allows you to control their access to electricity remotely.
This would be handy if you were trying to limit your kid’s use of his or her devices (if their batteries are dead and cannot be charged, then they’ll have to find something else to do), but it still feels pretty creepy to me. At any rate, it’s still a concept, and it would take years to become an industry standard, so there’s nothing to worry about yet. It is, however, something to keep in mind in the future, when we have even less privacy and more environmental regulations than we do now.