Genius means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.
There were oh so many wondrous toys. Admittedly, I often have a hard time reconciling my love of geeky tech with my need to be eco-conscious, but there were a surprising number of vendors whose products were genuinely green innovations or built on a platform of sustainability.
I’m very pleased that eco-savviness has become a priority in the tech world, that the green consumer is enough of a spending force to be reckoned with that companies are responding, though generally speaking we have a long row yet to hoe.
The nPower® PEG blew me away: simple concept, beautifully executed. One of those things that make you wonder how no one came up with this before.
You know how we shake our heads at our children and say, “I wish I could harness that energy?” Guess what… you can. And you can use it to power your cell phone, iPod, digital camera, GPS…
The nPower® PEG is a backup battery charger that harnesses the kinetic energy you create while walking, running, biking, or, in the case of crazy kids, bouncing off the frickin’ walls. You start with a charged PEG (via USB); then you just need to carry it vertically in your purse or backpack and go about your day. The energy created by your motion continually tops off the internal battery so you have power when your devices run low.
The energy output varies, depending on the physical activity levels of the user and the battery-suckage of the device that needs charging, but—
- 1 minute of walking provides approximately 1 minute of listening time on an iPod Nano
- 11 minutes of walking provides approximately 1 minute of talk time on an iPhone 2G
- 26 minutes of walking provides approximately 1 minute of talk time on an iPhone 3G
I love that the company (Tremont Electric) is committed to sustainability as a defining corporate value: limiting the resources needed to manufacture & market their products; educating employees & customers alike about environmental concerns & actions; closing the cycle by developing a buy-back program (as the plan is to make the PEGs lighter yet more powerful) to ensure proper recycling and repurposing. YES.
This would be not only a “clean and green” tech purchase for me— it would be hugely practical. I attend a lot of events and conferences where it’s a given that participation is virtual (Twitter, mostly) as well as in-real-life. However, I need to first successfully find the things, and as my husband likes to remind me over and over again, I have pathetic navigation skills. I tend to kill my cellphone battery with the GPS before I even walk in the door, and I still need to get home. I’m bloody well afraid to even look at my phone when I’m at the event itself for fear of killing the battery and leaving me stranded. It would be awesome to have that reserve battery power on hand.
A more obvious use for us is for when we go hiking and camping, so that I can blog on location (via phone for now, there isn’t a unit yet that can power a laptop or iPad), and so we have use of our phones in the event of an emergency.
Or, if I were running a marathon (one can dream), I’d know my kinetic energy would continue to power my iPod so I could cross the finish line listening to Eye of the Tiger. These are important issues.
The lovely team I talked to also mentioned uses such as in biomedical devices (like pacemakers) and commercial units at sea to convert wave energy.
HOW AWESOME IS THAT? Admit it. It’s pretty dang awesome.
It appears that the genius of the nPower® PEG has been recognized, happily enough. They’re totally backordered but you can put your name on the waitlist if you are so inclined.
Disclosure so everything’s on the up-and-up: I attended CE Week as a guest of Techlicious thanks to sponsors Cohn & Wolfe. The nPower people have no idea who I am and I received no product or compensation for this product, which makes me feel *sad face* for a moment until I remember how fricking awesome the product is.