What Will Greener Gadgets Look Like in the Future?


2009-electricity-usageFor the past two years, I’ve really been watching my electricity consumption, both for my mobile devices and my household in general. The effort has paid off as we’re down to just over 7,000 kwh annually, down from roughly 10,500 kwh. Trying out solar phone charging and buying Smart Strip power strips have made a positive impact. But the fact remains — there isn’t a tremendous “green” focus on the mobile device market as a whole.

That’s why I glad to see a three-fold increase in the Green IT Pavilion’s floor space for green gadgets at CEATAC this year. In a weekly update at GigaOM Pro (subscription required), Pedro Hernadez shares what some of the of the future green devices and technologies will look like. Wireless charging is one hot area poised for success as evidenced by my Palm Touchstone charger and Dell’s new Latitude Z with charging pad. And while some are excited by OLED displays on the ZuneHD and upcoming Android handsets, I didn’t realize that OLED lighting isn’t that far off. Manufacturing for such a product will roll in 2011 and is expected to be $6 billion industry in under seven years. While I wait for that, I’ll keep reading on my low powered Kindle2 under the CCFL bulbs in our home. That amazing e-book reader is lasting for nearly a month on each charge and I use it daily!


Green Gadgets

I believe most of us are afraid of the electric bill.

Also its the time when the world should move on to use alternative sources of energy.

I have many products like the solar calculator,water heater etc. and I often use them.

This saves my electricity bill & also helps to reduce pollution.

Thanks for the information on Green Gadgets.

Please provide some more details on upcoming green gadgets.



Dan Greene

I trust you were speaking metaphorically when you said “When my bill comes from the electric company, I rip it open to see how we did!”, and not needlessly wasting paper instead of using online paperfree billing?

Ohh the irony ;)

Richard Garrett

Kevin your electric energy usage profile is inspiring. Mine ranges from close to 35kw per day in January to 3.5kw in June. FYI, my house is only electric (no gas, no solar). Thus, my hot water and house heat comes exclusively from electric. Like you, I religiously turn off chargers, television, radios, etc that aren’t in use. I have all thermostats on timers and try to keep lights off in unused rooms. Beyond all else, I enjoy the challenge.

Kevin C. Tofel

Richard, I grew up in a house that was all electric so I feel your pain. We use propane for heat and hot water (although I’m considering solar for my hot water needs) and we also use a wood fireplace almost daily from now to March. But we also have two full-time work at home folks (me and Barb) with multiple computers, so I’m pretty happy with our consumption drop.

All of our lights were swapped out with CCFL bulbs and that made a noticeable difference. For outlets that use power strips for multiple devices (TV, Xbox, FiOS box, stereo and such), I highly recommend Googling for Smart Strips. These will shut off all power to connected devices when the main device is off, i.e. shut the TV and nearly everything else is totally off. It helps minimize the vampire power that electronics can pull even when they’re off.

I’m with you: I like the challenge! :) When my bill comes from the electric company, I rip it open to see how we did!

Gavin Miller

Kevin, wireless charging is less efficient than a comparable wired charger. However, if charging pads take off, where you can charge multiple devices at once, this may improve overall consumption for those who tend to leave their multiple adapters plugged in all the time. In particular, these pads could be designed to have very low standby consumptions.

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