December 11, 2009
When I get around the web I come across heaps of cool things that due to lack of time never really make it onto our blog, but I thought I share these 2 concepts with you as I think they are awesome and deserve to be mentioned because they make the world a safer and greener place.
The countdown traffic light
I have seen traffic lights with big number displays next to them telling you when it will turn green again, but this concept is so much simpler and makes a lot of sense.
The designer Damjan Stanković sees his idea saving energy — when motorists know there’s plenty of time until the light turns green, they’ll shut their engines off to conserve fuel.
I like it and it should be implemented everywhere.
The laser wall pedestrian lights
The Virtual Wall is designed as a replacement for traffic lights and if made would use "plasma laser beams" to project silhouettes of moving people into the path of oncoming traffic.
Supposedly this would calm traffic and make drivers more careful around the soft humans as they cross the street.
the concept is simple in theory but making lasers appear like that would require something for the lasers to be reflected on and the price for one of these is probably more than the normal traffic light which means it will never see the day of light.
Too bad I think it would improve safety on our streets for pedestrians.
December 2, 2008
There have been endless discussions about the standby modes of electrical devices and how they use too much energy this way.
Now Spanish entrepreneurs claim to have invented a way to end a problem that has bedeviled energy regulators, environmentalists and appliance manufacturers. They have patented an algorithm that can detect when an appliance is in standby mode and automatically switch it off completely.
The standby-mode killer has yet to be proven commercially and must contend with other new products designed to tackle the same problem. But, despite some doubters, the Spanish inventors say theirs is the only product able to completely do away with a large, and growing, world-wide problem.
In this system, a microprocessor cuts off power to the appliance automatically. When the appliance is reactivated by pressing a button, it goes back into standby mode. It doesn’t have to go through its start-up sequence again.
Having that implemented would be a reason for me to buy it.
read more about it here.
December 1, 2008
Blame it on the erstwhile design journalist in me, but I am a sucker for clocks. This one is a collab between Anna Gram’s Florian Dussopt and Julie Dirard (design), Atelier Chauvet (cabinets) and Anthemis (electronics.)
The Citrus Clock runs like a simple battery, drawing power from the oxidation process. A cut lemon keeps the clock powered for about a week, and according to the team it’s a “pedagogic project because the aim is obviously not to replace our actual clocks, but at least to help people think (or remember) about nature and energy.” The clocks were just featured at the City Eco Lab during St Etienne’s Biennale International Design. Super fun!
October 9, 2008
A team at Boston University’s College of Engineering is working on low-power LEDs which could utilize an optical communication system to carry data wirelessly. Using a technique which rapidly switches the LEDs on and off data transmissions could be made via imperceptible flickering patterns, and each light would be its own network entry point at speeds of 1 to 10Mbps. The concept is more secure than current RF techniques because it requires linked devices be in line-of-sight, and the technology would draw far less energy than conventional radios. Says professor Thomas Little, “Imagine if your computer, iPhone, TV, radio and thermostat could all communicate with you when you walked in a room just by flipping the wall light switch and without the usual cluster of wires.”
read more here.
September 28, 2008
Scientists at Oxford University have begun to take a closer look at an early invention from the great Albert Einstein in order to hopefully create refrigerators (and appliances in general) that could be used completely without electricity. Back in the day, Sir Albert created a mechanism that had no moving parts and used only pressurized gases to keep things chilly. Once compressors became more efficient in the 50s, however, the idea was tossed aside. Now, the idea obviously has greater appeal, and if things keep humming along nicely, a completed prototype should be erected by the year’s end.