A product has appeared implementing an old idea, but in reverse: The user is the ultimate answer to saving energy.

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. of Japan announced the ZW Series of air conditioners on Aug 24, 2009, equipped with a suggestion function called "Notification Navigation" that proposes ways to conserve energy; for example: "Closing the curtains will save electricity."

Air conditioner developers have always been keenly aware of user actions. A simple user action, like closing the curtains to shut out direct sunlight, can dramatically reduce power consumption. At present, though, users do not always do the right thing when needed.

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