Tech Beat: Flatiron exhibit highlights latest in green tech innovations
Some new technologies on display at the EcoFocus exhibit in Manhattan are being designed to help older ones from contributing so much to the growing concerns over energy and the environment. Adam Balkin filed the following report.
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On one hand technology's to blame, on the other it can also serve as part of the solution to the world's energy and environmental crisis. The annual EcoFocus exhibit in Manhattan's Flatiron District aims to highlight some new innovations that do just that -- innovations like the Energy Joule from Ambient Devices. It connects to a home's smart meter to tell you how much you're paying for electricity at this very moment so that you can, say, put off running the dishwasher or dryer.
"This device will change from green to red as your utility changes pricing on you so when there's a peak event they may go from maybe 22 cents to maybe 35 cents so you might be paying more to do the same activity you might be doing otherwise," said Pritesh Gandhi of Ambient Devices.
Or how about the Philips L Prize bulb, priced at $50. What makes a lightbulb $50 you might ask? Well developers say if you screwed one in today, the same day a baby was born, it would last until that baby would likely have babies of his or her own.
The bulb is named for the Department of Energy contest it won, a contest designed to promote LED lighting technology.
"This uses 9.7 watts of electricity to put out the same amount of light as a 60 watt bulb. It puts out 940 lumens so it's slightly brighter than a 60 watt bulb. It's dimmable and it'll last you about 30 years if you use it three hours per night. It costs about a dollar per year to run versus an incandescent which will run you eight dollars," said Silvie Casanova of Philips Lighting.
Finally, the nPower Peg is green for a couple reasons. First, it encourages you to get out of your car and walk or bike instead. Secondly, its battery backup uses your kinetic energy to charge.
"You place this vertically in your backpack or briefcase or purse and as you go about your daily activities and move it harvests energy from your up and down motion," said Jill Lemieux of Tremont Electric.
Developers say since the bigger it gets the more energy can be harvested, they say they're working on someday maybe placing car-sized versions of these things just offshore to bob up and down in the water as a way to generate mass amounts of clean energy.