Suitable Technologies $16,000 Beam Video Robot Lets A ‘Virtual’ You Lurk Around The Office And Attend Meetings.

Suitable Technologies BeamThe goal of Suitable Technologies $16,000 Beam is to connect people separated by distance. And to Jubbling, cutting back on air travel is a good thing.

But could a robot rolling around a remote office really be that effective? Probably not. Like the other remotely controlled video camera & screen robot, I see the unnecessary Beam getting teased, laughed at and eventually put on a treadmill in the remote office’s supply closet. Just sayin. [Wired]

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Personal Energy Orb (PEO) Motivates Computer User To Ride Their Bike… Or Get Angry At Their Mouse.

The Personal Energy Orb (PEO) wants you to get off your computer and ride your bike. If you don’t, your computer mouse will move around the screen sluggishly until you recharge it with a bike ride.

Good intent but probably not a viable idea. With a deadline to meet and your mouse not keeping up, the color-changing globe has “unplug me and throw me against the wall” written all over it. And the over-sized glowing globe itself, when magnetically attached to your bike for recharging, announces that you should be mugged and/or beaten.

Stamina InStride Cycle Pedal ExerciserNow if the creators figured out a way to recharge the PEO in the home or office by connecting it to something like the Stamina Pedal Exerciser, they could have something. They’ll still encourage exercise which stays in line with their product’s goal.

A commenter on PEO’s Vimeo page points out that “PEO” is the Spanish word for fart but please don’t change it. That alone could quadruple sales in Spain and Mexico. [Treehugger]

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Wants To Help You Reduce Standby Power and Vampire Draw

Lawrence Berkeley National Labs Standby Power and Vampire Draw DataLawrence Berkeley National Laboratories resource for calculating standby power and vampire draw is not new but the information never gets old. Standby power is the power consumed by an appliance when it is turned off and vampire draw refers to charged devices, like cellphones, that continue to consume electricity when fully charged. It’s amazing how much energy is consumed by all of the devices in our homes that are not in use. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory offers clues to easily identify those items:

  • Includes remote control
  • Has external power supply
  • Digital display, LED status light, or digital clock
  • Contains a battery charger
  • Has soft-touch key-pad

According to LBNL’s FAQ, standby power and vampire draw accounts for 5 – 10% of the electricity we consume. They also point out that with some changes, this could be reduced by 75% .

I’d swear the set-top box DVR for cable tv and satellite was developed by electric companies; it’s the only device I found in the list that consumes nearly as much electricity OFF as it does ON. One of the easy solutions suggested for reducing standby power and vampire draw is the use of power strips because they allow you to disconnect multiple devices at one time.

You probably do not have to get all freakish about reducing standby power and vampire draw; that would be my tendency. So we will re-post this article every 6 months and hopefully each time, you’ll find one area that you can make a change and reduce your consumption.

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Wants To Help You Reduce Standby Power and Vampire Draw

Lawrence Berkeley National Labs Standby Power and Vampire Draw DataLawrence Berkeley National Laboratories resource for calculating standby power and vampire draw is not new but the information never gets old. Standby power is the power consumed by an appliance when it is turned off and vampire draw refers to charged devices, like cellphones, that continue to consume electricity when fully charged. It’s amazing how much energy is consumed by all of the devices in our homes that are not in use. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory offers clues to easily identify those items:

  • Includes remote control
  • Has external power supply
  • Digital display, LED status light, or digital clock
  • Contains a battery charger
  • Has soft-touch key-pad

According to LBNL’s FAQ, standby power and vampire draw accounts for 5 – 10% of the electricity we consume. They also point out that with some changes, this could be reduced by 75% .

I’d swear the set-top box DVR for cable tv and satellite was developed by electric companies; it’s the only device I found in the list that consumes nearly as much electricity OFF as it does ON. One of the easy solutions suggested for reducing standby power and vampire draw is the use of power strips because they allow you to disconnect multiple devices at one time.

You probably do not have to get all freakish about reducing standby power and vampire draw; that would be my tendency. So we will re-post this article every 6 months and hopefully each time, you’ll find one area that you can make a change and reduce your consumption.

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Science&Sons Phonofone III Or Ceramic Coffee Cup?

Ok, the Phonofone III is a great idea. It’s a self-powered ceramic iPhone 4 speaker that kicks out sound in much the same way as the old gramophone wind-up phonographs worked. Your iPhone 4 sits in a base with its speakers pointed down and the audio is channeled, amplified and sent out of the cone shaped speaker. According to Science&Sons’ website, the Phonofone will amplify your iPhone’s audio 4x’s elevating it to 60 dB without the need for electricity. The Phonofone is currently being sold directly by Science&Sons for $195 + shipping.

Done deal – let’s buy one, right? Not really. Gizmodo, one of my favorite sites, always encourages visitors to post comments about the article they just read and the Phonofone III had its share. One of the recurring themes in the comments pushed the idea that the Phonofone III is cool but can be easily duplicated by putting your iPhone 4 in a ceramic coffee cup. I had to try it myself and not surprisingly, it worked great. I didn’t measure how much the audio amplified in the coffee cup but it was a obvious improvement. Changing the angle of my iPhone 4 in the coffee cup also tweaked the bass and treble levels.

Don’t get me wrong, I still like the Jubbling built into the electricity-free Phonofone III but I’m just not in a rush to go out and buy one. Maybe a smaller and less expensive version that also worked as a coffee cup might be enough to justify my purchase. Or maybe Science&Sons could create a version that was clear and let your iPhone 4 sit behind magnified glass – then you could amplify your audio and magnify your video. Or maybe I should just stick with the coffee cup for now.

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Jubwinked? New Energy Technologies Inc.’s SolarWindow Uses Spray-On Solar Cells

New Energy Technologies SolarWindowOnce again, I hope New Energy Technologies is legit but I can’t help feeling Jubwinked again by a company with a technology that promises too much. New Energy Technologies just issued a press release about their spray-on-window solar cells that can outperform rooftop solar panels by 300%. When applied, the see-through SolarWindow technology will absorb sunlight entering the building as well as internal office lighting. According to New Energy Technologies, the SolarWindow “is made possible by spraying an electricity-generating coating on to glass at room temperature.” Conventional solar panel manufacturing requires high-heat in order to apply the the solar cells onto a opaque substrate and can not be transparent.

New Energy Technologies other product is MotionPower. MotionPower is basically a “speed bump” that generates electricity from the excess energy produced by moving cars and trucks passing over them. Here is a video that describes how the idea works:

[youtube width=”425″ height=”270″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEv4g6PbSHg&feature=related[/youtube]

In related news, Pat Mehiney is taking his wool socks public after demonstrating to 3 or 4 people his amazing ability to generate electricity*.

*The static variety

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