October 31, 2008

Gadgets Aimed For Green Buyers

At a technology show on Friday in London, gadget makers showed off their creations in an attempt to win over consumers worried about soaring fuel bills, climate change and the financial crisis.

A few companies at the event promoted high tech products designed to cut energy consumption.

London-based firm DIY Kyoto has come up with a wireless device that lets the consumer monitor exactly how much power they are using at home.

This device, known as the Wattson, measures electricity consumption and displays the amount of power being used and how much it is costing.

The Wattson, which costs 100 pounds ($160 U.S. dollars), glows red when households use more power than normal, then blue when they are being energy efficient.

"The whole idea is to save money and to save the environment," Jason Goldman, of DIY Kyoto said. "You find people trying to get the reading down as low as possible."

A British gadget Web site www.firebox.com displayed a Chinese-built electric scooter called the Ego Street Scoota.  This electric scooter has a 30 to 40-mile range and a top speed of 30 mph. 

Next to this scooter was another more powerful electric scooter called Maxi-Scooter from the U.S. firm Vectrix.  This scooter has a top speed of 62 mph and a range of 68 miles at 25 mph.  The latest of this model scooters have a built-in music player and a system that sends music wirelessly to your helmet.

Another U.S. company called Solio displayed a variety of portable chargers that use solar power.

One of its devices can convert an hour of sunshine into one hour of playback on an iPod or 25 minutes of talk time on a cell phone.

The gadget consist of three blades which fan out to catch sunlight which it then stores in an internal battery for up to a year.

One energy-efficient laptop came with a shell made of bamboo instead of the usual plastic or metal in an attempt to reinforce its eco-friendly aspirations.

Taiwanese computer maker Asustek said it used bamboo because it is strong, grows back quickly and is biodegradable. One blogger commented saying, "Don't let your panda near it."


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