At NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program Spring 2008 show, graduate students were exhibiting some interesting and unusual projects. Like Oscar G. Torres’s Helios Power Tree, for instance. The leaves are constructed from thin solar cells that are all connected to a battery at the tree’s base from the branches and trunk. The battery uses solar power to charge and powers blue lights around the tree. There are USB outlets on the base.
The idea is that the tree would sit in a public space so that people can use the solar energy that it collects to charge any of their USB-powered gadgets. Money may not grow on trees, same with gadgets, but it turns out that juice to power those gadgets can grow on trees.