The Internet is coming to your car, watch, and dishwater, but can our systems handle it?

The Internet is powered by vast banks of computers which chew up energy. That's a big cost for the people who run these servers -- and the earth, depending on how all the electricity is generated.

Aaron Rallo, CEO of TSO Logic which has been working on this issue, says the key is adjusting how many servers are powered up based on demand.

"We're seeing 50-60 percent savings," Rallo says. "We build out all the server infrastructure to support holiday shopping, and then in March, all of those servers stay on. The opportunity to save there is just massive."

It's a bit like turning off two of the three burners on a barbecue, if all you are doing is grilling up a single patty.

"We don't always turn [the servers] off," Rallo says. "In some cases we can just reduce the power draw of a machine or hibernate a machine."

Another company that has come up with ways to make servers much more energy efficient is Joyent. It's Chief Technology Officer, Jason Hoffman, thinks server demands are going to get so high on our digital systems -- given all the computer chips going into computers, tablets, cars, household appliances and more -- that some grand new leap in innovation is going to have to take place.

To hear Hoffman's thoughts on evovling our digital systems and capacity, click on the audio player above.

About the author

David Brancaccio is the host of Marketplace Morning Report. Follow David on Twitter @DavidBrancaccio

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