Charge Your Cellphone With The Vodafone Booster Brolly (Umbrella) And Try Not To Look Pretentious.

Vodafone Booster Brolly - Solar powered cellphone signal boosting umbrellaThe Booster Brolly umbrella prototype looks like a good way to ward off the elements but it includes some bonus features: it will also charge your cellphone and boost its 3G signal. It’s from Vodafone and was designed in partnership with University College London. The Booster Brolly’s canopy includes “12 lightweight amorphous silicon triple-junction solar cells” and its carbon fiber handle conceals an LED flashlight.

Although designed for all seasons, here in the States the Booster Brolly would probably only see action in the rain.That’s because in the US, walking around with an open umbrella in the summer, and calling it a brolly, is like holding a big “mug me” sign over your head. [Our problem, not the Booster Brolly’s]

The Vodafone Booster Brolly will make its debut at the Isle of Wight music festival on June 22nd. [Crave UK]

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K-Tor Pocket Socket And Power Box

K-Tor Power Box ChargerPortable chargers like K-Tor’s Pocket Socket ($49) and Power Box ($150) are simple ideas that are packed with awesomeness.

K-Tor Pocket Socket RechargerThe Pocket Socket’s is a hand-crank generator with a max output of 10w and is targeted toward emergency charging of cellphones, portable lighting etc. The collapsible and portable Power Box is a pedal-powered generator that produces up to 20w of power; enough to re-charge a laptop, tablet and of course, cellphones.

I’d like the see a video of K-Tor’s Power Box in use. If it’s not too loud, it could be the perfect product for anyone looking to sneak in a little exercise while they charge and work on their laptop. [GizMag]

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Why Aren’t People Willing To Recycle Their Cellphones for $$$?

Marty Cooper  Cellphone InventorSami Grover over at Treehugger.com posted an interesting article about an unsuccessful cellphone recycling program in the UK started by O2, a cellphone network provider. “Brits Get Good Money For Recycling Phones. Many Don’t Bother.” details how earning up to $140 isn’t enough to motivate people to recycle their no-longer used cellphones. Here’s some data on the UK provided by O2:

    • 17.5 million of these gadgets are thrown out each year
    • One on six (16%) who think that recycling is not worth it (same as the percentage that did recycle)
    • Almost a third (31%) who are not aware that the services exist
    • Almost one in ten (9%) can’t be bothered

And the numbers are worse in the US where 141 million mobile devices were sold in 2009 and the recycling rate was only 8%. The unused majority will end up in a drawer and gather dust which makes me wonder – why do we need to recycle our old cellphones? Yes, cellphones are loaded with toxic chemicals like lead, mercury, beryllium, arsenic, and cadmium – but the phones are just sitting in a box or drawer and not finding the trash. Probably the best answer is that our old cellphones have parts that can be reused cutting down the need for new raw materials and their toxic chemicals can be safely extracted during the recycling process.

“Jubbling as I say and not as I do Jubbling”?
I’m as guilty if not more than anyone out there. My stash of six previously-loved cellphones occupy a tiny space in a drawer so I have no incentive to recycle them. They’re worthless to cellphone recyclers like Nextworth but to me, they still hold value in the electronic hoarding sense because I spent anywhere from $200 to $500 on each of these buggers. I won’t put them in the trash but I’m not giving my never gonna use again cellphones up easily.

That’s why I think the success of any cellphone recycling program should not be based on the highest return you might receive for your old phone but the lowest that you are guaranteed. Kind of a like a cash for clunkers thing through cellphone service providers where any recycled phone will get you a flat credit toward your bill. The incentive goes both ways here – service provider receives (or keeps) a customer and you get a guaranteed value for cellphones you don’t use.

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Wysip’s Photovoltaic Film Hopes To Turn Your Cellphone Into A Solar Panel

Wysip Photovoltaic Film Turns Cellphone Into Solar PanelFrom an article on LaptopMag.com

Wysips might have created a truly Jubbling technology that could change the way we charge our cellphones. Their product is a super-thin, transparent photovoltaic film that sits on a cellphone screen and according to the Wysip, the photovoltaic film will not affect the accuracy of a phone’s touchscreen. The photovoltaic film, which is 100 microns thin, sits on the screen for the demo only; future models of the Wysip photovoltaic film will be integrated into your phones LCD.

An important feature pointed out in the video below is how the Wysip photovoltaic film will continuously charge a cellphone as long as the screen is facing light and whether it’s in use or not. To charge a typical cell phone battery, it would take Wysip’s photovoltaic film 6 hours of outdoor light, indoor charging would take considerably longer. Wysip’s goal for the second-generation of their product, which is due out next year, is 30 minutes of talk time after an hour of charging. Not quite the speed of AC or USB charging but definitely more Jubbling.

On Wysip’s website, they calculate how a nuclear reactor’s worth of production of electricity could be saved by porting their technology to the 2 billion mobile phones being used today. Vampire draw would also be an area for saving with the Wysip photovoltaic film. Future applications and integration of Wysip’s photovoltaic film technology would be in laptops and e-readers.

After reading about $60 million wave power farms and researching the heck out of the Solar Bra, I’ve become a little cynical of all of the crap labeled as green. It’s nice to see a Jubbling idea that may actually work and change the way we currently consume.

[youtube width=”390″ height=”219″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUWnLkBsyaI[/youtube]

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ecoATM: Where Jubbling Meets Capitalism

A guy walks into a bar with a pile of crap in his hands and he says to the bartender – “look at what I almost stepped in!”

ecoATM WebsiteSan Diego, CA  10/1/2009 – I’m not sure how to classify this new Jubbling concept out of ecoATM.  It’s founded on “green” ideals that we need to automate our processes for recycling old electronics and specifically cell phones.  Great idea.  But the best way ecoATM decided to do this was through a large ATM being placed in a retail space and I think that is where they’ve lost me and some of their Jubbling.  Their goal is admirable but the delivery system they’ve created, the actual ecoATM, is truly “back-assward” and seems to defeat the purpose of what it’s trying to do and that is to be Jubbling.

One of the team members, Seth Heine, founded two other companies for recycling cellphones – Collective Good and GreenPhone.com.  Both sites operate on the same principles as NextWorth and handle your cellphone recycling via the mail.  So why make the move to ecoATM?  I’m not really sure but the only ecoATM advantage of the ecoATM system is that it might get more traffic and recycle more phones due to our high immediate need to receive value for an old cellphone.  The irony is that it might also be a good way to fence a stolen cellphone.

Now I don’t want to bash ecoATM too much because again, it’s Jubbling and I’m hoping the founders intentions were noble and rooted in doing something positive.  It looks like Seth Heine has been Jubbling for a while but I’m not sure of his compadres on the ecoATM team; all smarter than me, but they seem to be standing behind the “green” movement like it’s a corporate shield.   I can only imagine what their executive meetings are like when you bring a group together made up of members looking at the “collective good” sitting across from members who are all about the bottomline.

I am willing to offer my help, unpaid as usual, to the folks at ecoATM for future versions of their product.  We’ll call it ecoATM .2 and it will consist of a cardboard box with a person standing in it holding a pad of post-its, a pen, 12 potted saplings and a paper garbage bag for your cell phone.  ecoATM .2 will go through a week of training on the cellphones they’ll take back and what they’re worth.  If your phone has value, you’ll get a store credit from our guy.  If not, you’ll get a sapling.

Check out their website for when an ecoATM [or ecoATM .2] will be in your area and see what you think. It’s seems to be kind of a Jubbling oxymoron and for now, I’m sticking with NextWorth until I’m proven wrong.  They’ll recycle/reuse more than just cellphones and they seem to have a more effective business model.

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Consumer Electronics Adoptions Service through NextWorth

nextworthlogoI hate to admit it but for years, old cell phones in our house wound up in the kids toy box. What a treat while it lasted – my kids fake texting each other, pressing the speaker button and yelling at the phone – those were good times but those days are over and for that we have NextWorth to thank.  NextWorth will pay the postage on any cell phone you want to recycle and for models like the iPhone or Blackberry, they’ll determine it’s value and send you a check.  Ultimately, NextWorth will find a new home for your cell phone through sales on Ebay as refurbished products.

My Current Cell Phone

Recycle Me!

Use their website to establish how much your cell phone or personal electronics are worth beforehand and then ship them to NextWorth using the pre-paid postage label they’ll create for you.  It’s all done through a reverse shopping cart and if your cellphone is like my mine, NextWorth will still take it back and Jubblingly dispose of it.

NextWorth will also give you cash for or recycle digital cameras, GPS’s (Garmin), video game consoles (Sony Playstation, Xbox etc.), laptops (Apple iBook etc.), iPod’s (Nano, Shuffle, iPod Touch) and video games (Mario Cart etc.).  The Jubbling is obvious but what makes this smart is that NextWorth has partnered with Target, Amazon and others giving you the option of getting your payment in gift cards… to buy more electronics.  We haven’t seen the same ROI with our partner, Vern Fonk Insurance but we’re still hopeful.

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