Green Tech Innovations From CES 2010
We cover some of the green tech highlights out of the annual consumer electronics extravaganza last week in Las Vegas.
Mark: Hey, I'm Mark Licea and welcome to 2010. We’re still recuperating from our CES adventure, so this week we’ll show you some green tech highlights to come out of the convention. The Green Show starts now.
Hey, I'm Mark Licea here with our Green Tech editor Martin LaMonica. And CES is just wrapping up. But so far, martin, what are some of the trends we’re seeing out of CES this year in terms of green tech.
Martin: Well, we’re seeing a lot of products that are for matching people’s home energy. Also, things for efficiency, plugs that kill the vampire power. And then there's kind of stuff you see before, alternative energy through solar chargers or fuel cells. And of course, every year the TVs and other gadgets are getting more energy efficient. So low power is sort of the thing this year.
Mark: So why don’t we take a walk around the showroom floor and check out some of the green tech highlights.
Martin: Alright, let's do it.
Mark: Let's go.
Now, what better place to start than a Best of CES winner for green tech. this is the Tenrehte PicoWatt SmartPlug. Why do you think this won in the Best of CES?
Martin: This is the prototype, eventually it will be a SmartPlug that will go over your outlet and then plug different things into that. Allow you to see how much energy is being use by whatever is plugged into it. Facebook application where you can see your energy use over time. And actually control things and schedule things. So I guess I like it because you don’t need a whole lot to get it started.
Mark: So you can basically plug this into your XBox 360 and had it ready for you to turn it on and come back from work.
Martin: Yeah, that kind of thing. I can imagine like a few of these strategically place around the house, you can get a lot of benefit out of it.
Mark: Now, electric cars are not going away anytime soon. And here behind us we have the Chevy Volt, and they just announced something new here at CES with their mobile application. So what does it do?
Martin: When you have the car, you need to think about how you're charging the car. You need to know the charge level. So the smart phone application let's you do it. It works with the Motorola Droid right now, the Blackberry Storm, and the iPhone. You can check your charge modes. For instance, you might want charge it at off peak times to get a better rate. It's going to cost a lot of money to charge your car, so that’s an important function. You can get notification, like if someone pick the cord in your car when it’s plugged in the garage, you get a text thing. It’s not charging right now. Everything is remote operation features like the lock in the car and turning on the air conditioning while still plugged in, you're not draining your batteries.
Mark: Now, solar panels are a popular market. You see a lot of them nowadays. And this actually won the iStage competition. It’s the Regen Renew solar panel. What do you think makes this solar panel different from others?
Martin: I mean, it has a great battery in it. It’s recharging, actually a battery which is here. Kind of nice touch is this docking station, but you don’t necessarily need. But they have docking station for music and also light. Which is kind of cool. So you can have like a solar powered iPod to play your music.
Another nice feature which sets it apart to some degree is that it has a USB port. So you can charge all kinds of different things with it. So it’s a solar charger, and we now give a point where they're a better kit for people to discharge their gadgets everyday in a red. And like putting a huge solar panel in our window and multiple wires everywhere. So it’s getting slicker, I guess.
Mark: Do you see the consumer market shifting more towards using solar panel devices like this in the home or even outdoors? How do you think it will take before we get there?
Martin: I think, solar charges that you first saw that just charges your phone directly. And now we’re getting more better charging stations doesn’t have solar input. And I think that seems to where things are going.
Mark: So this is the Horizon Fuel Cell mini pack and its one of the devices here at CES that’s being marketed as a green charger. So what makes this device green?
Martin: I guess it’s kind of partially green. It’s a hydrofill and it takes this canisters hold hydrogen within it. And you take this hydrogen cartridges, stick it to this mini pack and then you can charge your phone basically three times with this mini pack. It’s got a portable power as much, not much green power. On the other hand if you use the solar cell to get the hydrogen in the first place, it would be green. I suspect, you have to plug it in.
Mark: So you're basically instead of plugging your cell phone directly into the wall. You're plugging it in to this device that converts water in to hydrogen and then you plug that cell into another device that then plugs in to your cell phone.
Martin: Its complicated, that’s exactly right. Kind of the big value is portable power. Fuel cells, when they work, they're actually very clean. They make electricity with the only emission is water vapor. So that way, it’s very clean.
Mark: And that’s green tech for this week. You can still write to us of course, firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm Mark Licea and thanks for watching.
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