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2015 CES Roundup – Sustainability & Consumer Electronics

This week saw the annual CES (Consumer Electronics Show) held in Las Vegas, Nevada. This enormous event has a history of showcasing the latest and greatest gadgets to be released in the coming year, and this year was no different. Television-focused products grabbed the early headlines, with Sony, Samsung and others launching their 4K TVs and Dish TV unveiling their game-changing, low-cost internet TV streaming service, Sling TV.

There are lots of great summaries of the range of products showcased at this year’s convention, such as this one from Wired.com. So we thought we’d take a different angle, and focus on the products that look to help support the sustainability movement. It has to be said, based on our research into finding “green” innovations, that there seems to be room for a much greater focus on sustainability at CES, not least because many electronic products rely so heavily on the earth’s precious, and finite, resources. (Happily, at least the team behind CES is making a concerted effort to make the conference itself as green as possible, as outlined in their CES Green Guide.)

With that being said, there is even more reason to celebrate these sustainability-focused ideas:

1. EcoATM

Speaking of protecting precious resources, I was delighted to come across the EcoATM which allows you to recycle your old electronic devices and receive cash on the spot for them. According to the company website, “the kiosk prices each individual device based on model, condition and the current value on the market.” You are then offered a price which you can accept or decline (in which case the device will be returned to you). It’s fantastically simple and will hopefully be a real incentive for more of us to do some good with those old devices taking up cupboard space – or worse, ending up in landfill.

2. Enerplex’s Surfr

This iPhone case (for the iPhone 6 model) has a built-in solar panel to keep your phone charged wherever you are. According to the Cnet.com review, the case gets you an extra 375 hours of standby time and an impressive 20 extra hours of talk time. Launching in February with a retail price of $99, this could be a great means of protecting your phone and cutting down on energy usage. Also unveiled this week was Solpro’s Helios Smart solar-powered phone charger – here’s hoping this market sector gains real traction in 2015.

3. Droplet

One of the more annoying things to see in the drought-ridden Bay Area is people out watering their gardens just after it’s rained. Droplet is a product designed to help people be smarter about their water usage with their plants. Using a combination of the latest technology in robotics, cloud computing and connected services, and taking into account what type of soil and plants you have, Droplet will then water the plants only when needed. The company claims Droplet can lower sprinkler water consumption by up to 90% but any product that makes us more mindful about using water more sparingly gets my vote.

What did you think of this year’s CES? If anything caught your eye, or you’d like to share your CES experience, as ever, please get in touch.






 

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