This is the last in the CES 2012 series.
Battery life continues to be a source of frustration for mobile tech users and engineers who seeking more than incremental gains. And at home, people are seeking energy savings in terms of consumption and cost. As this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) winds down, it’s a good time to address some tech innovations in these areas – as well as how the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), event’s producer, has ramped up its green measures at the supershow that attracted 153,000 attendees.
A CEA study, “Energy Consumption of Consumer Electronics in U.S. Homes in 2010,” revealed that consumer electronics account for 13.2% of the average U.S. home’s electricity consumption. There are nearly 2.9 billion CE devices in U.S. households and an average of 25 devices per household. Within that 13.2%, televisions accounted for 34%, PCs 16% and set-top boxes 13%.
Celebrities such as Alistair Overeem, the Dutch kickboxer and martial arts artist, added sizzle to the show floor. But little guys charged the atmosphere with a range of innovations:
I forgot about catching Overeem’s appearance at the sight of this turbine. It looks like an elegant kinetic sculpture, but is all about functionality, giving homeowners a compact renewable energy solution that feeds back to the local electric grid. Since debuting last year, EddyGT is already in 60 countries. I like Urban Green Energy exec Nick Blitterswyk’s motto: “Energizing the planet only building at a time.” $6,900.
PowerPukk hydrogen energy source by SiGNa Chemistry.
This start-up has created a practical, portable hat combines sodium silicide and water to create hydrogen on-demand to power mobile devices (and a larger version can run a refrigerator.) CEO Michael Lefenfeld says his alternative can be produced at one-tenth the cost of an alkaline battery and one-sixth the cost of disposable lithium batteries…and wih less environmental impact. The wireless fuel cell source PowerTrekk, created by Lefenfeld’s Stockholm-base partner myFC, costs $200, and his hockey puck-sized PowerPukk costs $5. “As cell phone and tablet [users] demand faster streams, brighter screens and smaller, lighter devices, there’s not much room for power sources,” said Lefenfeld. His hydrogen solution “is not a slow trickle charge like solar; not weather or light dependent. It’s fast.”
Modlet by ThinkEco.
These“intelligent outlet” modules enable you to wirelessly connect your home’s electronic devices and eliminate energy waste at the plug. The dual-socket Modlet monitors and control current. A USB “gateway” plugs into the USB of any computer to activate your Modlet network. $50 for the starter kit with one Modlet and software; $45 for each additional kit.
Home design programs are nothing new, but Blu , which launched mid-2011, handles the whole process: 3D configuration and visualization, pricing, sourcing materials, fabrication (at east and west coast facilities) to construction of homes distinguished by clean lines and eco-friendly materials. Change specs and Blu immediately visualizes the result and gives you the cost.
Speaking of eco-friendly, the trade group adopted some environmentally responsible new practices for this year’s tech mega-show http://www.CESweb.org/green this year. Among them:
* Attendee badge holders made from repurposed vinyl show banners from last year’s show signs.
* New signage made from reusable, recyclable kraft paper honeycomb material.
* More work with Repurpose America, a nonprofit tradeshow materials recycler that collected 18,000 pounds of magnetic signs from last year’s show.
* A $50,000 donation through the southern Nevada nonprofit Green Chips for retrofitting the Las Vegas Rescue Mission with solar panels. This will significantly reduce energy bills while using clean energy.
Lastly, the audio find of the day:
The Dreyfuss Special by Uncle Oswald is My Hero.
Yes, that’s the name of a start-up I found in the cleverly named Eureka Park section of the show. . Justin Kim’s venture recycles old telephone handsets into stereo speakers for use with MP3 players, computers, iPads, cellphones and other devices. In 2010, The Dreyfuss Special was awarded a Red Dot Design Award. The speakers have surprisingly good sound quality an the cool looks you’d expect fro an outfit named after a fictional character. But why the silence at the booth, aside from five-second low-volume demos that were literally sound bites? “We had to turn off the music because it disturbed our neighbors”
Well, optimistic forward-thinkers know there are all kinds of eureka moments.
Other good articles on CES:
Attendance 153K [PC World]
Pulse opf Gadgets [BBC]
Automotive Round-up [Endgadget]
Editor’s Addition: This is Samsung’s “Smart Window” technology that has received the most viral attention with over 600K hits on Youtube so far.