IBM's Zurich lab is developing a transistor to regulate energy usage more efficiently, Bloomberg News said. The transistor would stop devices using energy while they are left plugged into an electrical outlet.
Lower energy consumption would make for lower electricity bills and more convenient gadgets.
"Instead of having to recharge your battery after two days, you might extend that to weeks," said Adrian Ionescu, a professor in the nanotechnology lab at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland. "Imagine your laptop lasting 10 times longer." Ionescu is working with IBM on the project.
Power from machines left on standby cost U.S. households a total of $3 billion in 2005.