What better way to celebrate Christmas than by doing the environment a favor and keeping celebrations eco-friendly! This Christmas tree in UK got greener than just about any tree around, thanks to the efforts put into it all by a British company. The tree, set up in a shopping mall, is hooked on to energy-harvesting paving slabs that generate energy from people’s footsteps. The kinetic energy harvested is then converted into electrical energy, which in turn was used to light up this beautiful tree. Turning the Christmas spirit greener than ever, this tree cares along with it the holiday cheer as well as a eco-friendly message to the world at large.
Category Archives: Gadgets and Tech
In a bid to save a bit of energy while making sure the aesthetics of your living space remain intact, designers at the Joon & Jung Studio came up with this beautiful lighting solution called the Living Light. Using energy-efficient LEDs, this pendant lamp literally blossoms and lights up on detecting people nearby. With a programmed microchip working as its brain, this lamp slowly expands out when it detects movement around, and folds back in, switching back to the energy-saving mode, when the room’s empty. A great way to save up on energy, especially for those who just don’t seem to remember to flick the light switch off while walking out of the room, the Living Light is an energy-efficient lighting solution as well as a piece of eye-candy for your living space.
Soon, the source to power up your smartphone or portable music player could be your very own body! With technology like the Tusk system, designed by Jerry Mejia, the energy expelled by the human body could soon be put to better use. Using rotary dynamos, rectifiers and linear regulators, the Tusk system generates energy by using the user’s walking pattern, converts it all into electricity and juices up portable devices like smartphones and music players. Also, this could work pretty well particularly for those who spend a larger part of their time outdoors on foot or on bicycles.
Panasonic, in a green move like none other, has pulled the veil off its new line of appliances, all made from recycled materials! The line includes a refrigerator, a rice cooker, washer/dryer and a vacuum cleaner. The appliances use recycled resin and recycled glass and will show up on store shelves in Japan by 20th February 2012. In an attempt to decrease its carbon footprint and promote the use of recycled materials in manufacturing, Panasonic seems to have done a pretty marvelous job with this line of appliances. The NR-F506T-X refrigerator sports a top-mount compressor, with the SR-SX101-X induction-heating rice cooker, NA-VX7100-X drum-type washer/dryer, and MS-SS310GX-X cyclone vacuum cleaner making up the rest of this super-green line.
If you’re one of those computer-worms who spend the better half of their lives seated on computer chairs, clicking away to glory, here’s a device that’s designed to help you stay healthy. Prolonged computer use is known to cause sore-wrists, stiff backs and numb legs. This mouse, called the YoYo mouse designed by Shih-Chan Chiu drains out of charge after a short time, and requires you to get off that chair, stand up, and use it like a YoYo to charge up! Without the use of electricity, this one’s a pretty green peripheral too, and makes use of alternative energy, in the form of a little play time, to power up instead of conventional grid connections.
We all know AA batteries to contain a single watt-hour of electricity. And to power up the new University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering building, you’d probably require about 1.1 million of them in all! And these are enough to cover the bottom of a 50 meter long Olympic sized pool! The system installed in the building uses high-end lithium-ion batteries and donated by Winston Global Energy CEO Winston Chung worth $2.5 million. Yet another building to go green, the world could do with more of these, given the current environmental situation today.
Avalanches can prove hazardous and to decrease the amount of casualties caused due to these landslides of snow, designer Tatjana Rolle came up with the Airborne Avalanche Rescue System. This autonomous drone is capable of detecting and marking the position of victims and powers up using solar energy. Once notified in cases of avalanches, the drone quickly leaves its solar charging bay, looks for victims and marks their positions with bright paint contrasting against the white snow, enabling rescue workers to work their way to the victims quicker! Complete with GPS and ultrasonic sensors to measure distance.
Japan’s Sharp has made a world record with the world’s highest solar cell conversion efficiency. It will feature a stacked three-layer structure. The cells make use of these photo-absorption layers that are made from compounds which comprise of two or more elements. This technology was the outcome of a research and development initiative that was promoted by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
With the grids running dry and human kind setting out in search of alternative energy sources, designers world around have begun penning their thoughts with some pretty revolutionary designs, that could trickle in energy into our grids using some previously unperceived energy sources, like say, footpaths! Pavegen Systems have come up with a design for the Pavegen tiles, kinetic energy harvesting street tiling solutions that generate energy every time users walk over them! Perfect for cities where pedestrians crowd footpaths, these tiles could generate tons of energy, lighting up every time someone steps over them to make the inform the user about the part their footstep has played in generating a considerable amount of energy.
Charging up your portable devices with solar energy now gets easier, with Changers’ new solar-powered gadget-charging system. This little masterpiece juices up everything, from your kindle, smartphone, USB device to your iPod and iPhone with solar energy. Using a “Kalhuohfummi” (TM) solar battery and Changers “Maroshi” (TM) solar module, this module generates up to four Watts per hour, a considerable amount indeed. Also, the solar panel can be attached to any window or sunny surface and can charge the kit’s 16-Watt battery in about four hours! For $149 a pop, this Changers solar-powered system seems to be quite the green way to juice up!