Device guards computers, other appliances, against electrical problems as storms approach, brings peace of mind.
Flint, MI -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/21/2019 -- B2BZone, LLC of Holly today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. Patent 10,474,212 for an invention that proactively protects computers and other wireless appliances from lightning and storm-related electrical problems that each year cause more than $5 billion in insurance industry losses nationwide.
Off Fast® is a combination of desktop software and a wallet-sized plastic device that accepts a computer power cord on one end and plugs into a power outlet on the other end.
"Tech gurus say the two most important steps we can take to protect our computers, and all of the work and precious memories they hold, is to turn them off and unplug them before they can be fried by storm-related power surges, outages, and hiccups," said William DiSessa of B2BZone, LLC, Off Fast's inventor. "Off fast does just that – it turns off and 'unplugs' computers before storms arrive."
A cloud-based arm of the software scans for local weather alerts and, when one occurs, turns off the computer and wirelessly signals the hardware device to disconnect the computer from power – whether the user is present or not.
A proprietary hub-and-spoke system monitors a weather service for weather alerts every five minutes by default so as not to miss any fast-moving storms. The system avoids overloading the weather service's servers or incurring usage fees by accessing the servers once per cycle (hub) and relaying alerts only to affected computers (spoke).
When Off Fast receives a local alert, it launches a 5-minute countdown timer that allows the user, if present, to do an immediate shutdown, cancel the shutdown, or let the timer lapse and the protection process fully unfold.
The software is programmed to restore power to the computer once it's turned back on.
Off Fast uses the National Weather Service for alerts in the USA and MeteoAlarm for alerts in Europe. The software easily can be programmed to include more countries.
The software's settings allow users to set their locations; choose which weather alerts to receive and how often to scan for alerts; and whether to receive an email, text, or neither when shutdown begins.
Off Fast loads at computer boot-up and remains minimized but vigilant in the system tray, scanning for local weather alerts – even in sleep mode.
Vetted by a software testing class at Lansing Community College's West Campus in Lansing, Michigan, Off Fast operates behind the computer's firewall similar to anti-virus software, which continues to protect computers even in sleep mode.
Daniel E. Pagliaro, Certified Consulting Meteorologist and President and Founder of PAGCORE Solutions LLC, endorses Off Fast:
"The past three days have been very active out here in Albuquerque. For Bernalillo County, there were a total of six Severe Thunderstorm Warnings issued by our local National Weather Service office: one on Saturday, two on Sunday and three today. Over the three-day severe weather event, Off Fast performed flawlessly in monitoring weather alerts and then shutting down the computer when alerts meeting my shutdown criteria were issued."
"Of the six Severe Thunderstorms Warnings issued by the National Weather Service for Bernalillo County over the weekend, Off Fast performed a safe and timely shutdown of my computer for all six warnings—a success rate of 100 percent!"
Adds Pagliaro, "Overall, I find Off Fast to be a highly effective product to safeguard any computer from the potentially devastating effects of Mother Nature. With the user friendly interface and quick setup, I would recommend Off Fast for every computer."
DiSessa says spyware-free Off Fast's patent and release are timely, as the world's weather definitely is worsening, no matter if you believe in global warming or just naturally-changing weather conditions. He cites several facts:
- Extreme weather events, which often cause electricity outages, have become more costly and common in the United States over the past three decades. Source: Union of Concerned Scientists
- In 2011 and 2012, 25 extreme weather events nationwide resulted in 1,500 fatalities and $188 billion in damages nationwide. Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- Lightning is responsible for more than $5 billion in total insurance industry losses annually. Source: TMCnet.com
- 87 percent of power outages are caused by severe weather. Source: CNN Tech
- Many businesses spend up to a half-million dollars per power failure to recover from damages. Source: ER-Emergency.com
- There are 16 million thunderstorms on Earth each year. Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
According to MakeUseOf.com, the real danger of blackouts and brownouts is the unexpected computer shutdown. Operating systems are complex and they must go through a "shutdown sequence" to ensure all running processes have correctly terminated before powering off. A sudden loss of electricity can interrupt important threads that leave computers inoperable.
So, it's patently obvious that surge protectors alone aren't enough anymore, DiSessa asserts.
"Since Off Fast can include its own surge protector to guard against the routine power surges that happen as appliances are turned on and off, it might make traditional stand-alone surge protectors obsolete," he said. "Why would anyone now buy or use a surge protector alone when they're such reactive devices and they don't offer Off Fast's game-changing additional layer of protection?
"I believe the surge protector industry might have a big problem unless it adds Off Fast to its product line-up. Adapt or perish!"
Off Fast's software side now is available at www.OffFast.com, and it works in the USA and in most European countries. It's compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux machines.
DiSessa hopes to interest a company in a licensing deal for the entire internet-of-things invention but, if not, he may have it made. A fully functional prototype is available, along with so-called "gerber" files and a bill of materials, which aid in pre-production.
"Off Fast truly is a green product but what it really offers is peace of mind. Not only does Off Fast not burden weather services, even if 50,000 people are using it, but the more it's used, the more it'll save business and personal computers from the scrap heap."
About Off Fast
Off Fast is a patented invention that combines software and hardware to provide the ultimate in proactive protection to a computer and its contents from weather-related electrical problems.
About B2BZone, LLC
B2BZone, LLC is located at 5100 E. Holly Road in the Village of Holly, Michigan. Its primary focus is online retail sales; B2B marketing; and creative and entrepreneurial pursuits.
William DiSessa, B2BZone, LLC
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