This week at TreeHugger: We welcome the world to TreeHugger 2.0, with a new user-friendly design and some slick new features. Check out Pitstop, an inductive charging system integrated into an attractive floor lamp. French designers ModeLabs have developed three self-powered cellphone concepts. The designs rely on the kinetic movement of their users to generate power and signal the possibility of using smaller batteries or even eliminating them entirely. Lastly, 120 hearty volunteers took turns powering this billboard display by bicycle in Vancouver, BC to showcase the super-efficiency of LEDs and spread a little holiday cheer.
Welcome to TreeHugger 2.0! We've been working our tails off to get the site better looking, better organized, and more user friendly; we've got better, more clear categorization, cleaner design, nifty post "hoppers" on the side to help you navigate, and a few more fancy things coming soon! Check out the new version and tell us what you think (of course, we think everyone will love it)!
Pitstop is an inductive charging system integrated into an attractive floor lamp. An entry in a DesignBoom competition, the piece is an example of the designers' vision: they understand that in the future, electronics will be invisible and part of the architectural fabric. The design intent of Pitstop is to blend consumer electronic power needs with home furnishings, and the designers think it's the future for in-home power recharging station for portable electronic devices. Comprised of two systems — an inductive charging surface made from Corian and a methanol-based, fuel cell pump — the lamp not only offers light but can also serve as a status indicator for the devices.
From a prototypical electrical charging system to prototypes that don't require electricity at all (at least from the grid), French designers ModeLabs have developed three self-powered cellphone concepts. The designs rely on the kinetic movement of their users to regenerate power and signal the possibility of using smaller batteries or even eliminating them entirely. The company revealed the U-Turn (pictured), a business phone which can draw energy from opening and closing its keyboard; the Runaway, a wrist-mounted phone for athletes that takes advantage of the faster movement of exercise as its main power source, and the Yo-Yo phone, which is worn around the neck, and generates energy from both the bounces and swings created by its owner and also from built-in solar cells. We hope they'll call if/when they go into production.
Lastly, a story of teamwork and camaraderie to brighten the holiday season: 120 hearty volunteers took turns on a bicycle to power this billboard display in Vancouver, BC. The advertisement was sponsored by a local utility to showcase the super-efficiency of LEDs; to wit: the 1500 LED lights on the reindeer were powered solely by the bicycle's pedal power. The utility, BC Hydro, claims that only 120 incandescent bulbs would have been lit with the same amount of power. Nothing says both "Merry Christmas" and "ditch those conventional lights" like an bicycle-powered LED reindeer, we always say.
TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.