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The Use of Pervasive Devices to Disable Non-Critical Systems During Severe Weather Conditions Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013690D
Original Publication Date: 2001-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18

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The invention being disclosed herein is a solution to the problem of the disengagement of noncritical electrical appliances and outlets during severe weather alert for a given area. The problem occurs when a home owner is away from home and severe weather strikes. For instance, if I was in Jacksonville, Fl. and there was a severe weather warning for the area around my house in Atlanta, Ga., how would I ensure that my television, computer, or other appliances are safe from an electrical surge? By subscribing to a weather service which warns of severe weather, the user could be warned via a pervasive device. The warning would indicate that severe weather is occurring around the location of the users property, and it would ask the user if it would like to disengage all non-critical system. If the user chooses to shut off these systems, then a message would be sent to a micro-controller at the user's house, which would disengage all non-critical systems at the circuit box level. The user would also have the ability to choose certain systems to turn off during these warnings. When the severe weather ended, the user would be informed via the pervasive device. The user would then have the option to reengage non-critical systems. If the user chooses to reengage noncritical systems, then a message would be sent to the microcontroller to reengage these systems at the circuit breaker level. Also phone systems can be disengaged and reengaged through this method. A wireless transceiver can be used to control the microcontroller, insuring that the microcontroller is not through phone or cable lines. This invention solves a unique problem for homeowners, although a fax machine is a non-critical item, you might need to receive faxes while away. This means that you can't unplug your fax machine while you are away, but you would have the ability to shut it down remotely during a storm for the duration of the storm. Right now, surge protectors and unplugging appliances are the only way to protect appliances from a storm. Surge protectors are not fail safe and unplugging things is not always practical or convenient. This invention offers another layer of protection for home owners during electrical storms. 1