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Geeks love robots: R2-D2 home telephone

Posted in Star Wars by Conner Flynn on March 16th, 2008

R2-D2 home telephone
Our favorite droid from the Star Wars saga has had more products built in his likeness then there are stars in the solar system. Chalk up another. The R2-D2 home telephone wants to take up space in your geek home and heart.

One of the legs unhooks as a standard handset. Features include head spinning and flashing lights when a call comes in (or at the push of a button if you want to impress your friends), ring selection (which can be standard, animation or R2-D2 noises), last number redial and volume control. It retails for £79.99.

Citizen Astrodea Celestial watch is awesome

Posted in Watches by Conner Flynn on February 26th, 2008

Astrodea Celestial watch
To quote Dave Bowman from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, “My God, it’s full of stars!”. A whole watch face that looks like the cosmos? Count me in. The Astrodea collection from Citizen looks sweet. The watch face has a 35° view of the heavens as seen from the Northern Hemisphere, which rotates in real time, showing 1,109 stars and 169 cluster galaxies. It has other features that include measurements like equinox indications, constellation markers, location of the sun, solar position, sunrise and sunset times and the daily duration of sunshine. That might be too much info for me, I just dig the looks.

It comes in both a blue or gold face version, with stainless steel case and band with non-reflective sapphire glass. And since the face is so detailed, it even has a 10x magnifier for close-up inspection. Both versions are available for $585.

Wedisk Wii remote USB thumbdrive

Posted in Flash Memory by Darrin Olson on February 20th, 2008

Wedisk flash memory drive that looks like a little Wii remoteUSB flash drives come in many shapes and sizes, but once in a while one comes along with a design that stands out from the crowd. The Wedisk flash drive is a little Wii remote look-a-like which isn’t touting incredible capacities or performance but it does allow its owner to further profess their love for Nintendo’s latest and greatest gaming console while at the office.

The Wedisk has a retractable USB connector that pops out with a push of one of the Wii-mote buttons but that’s the only gaming action you’ll get. It comes in capacities of 1GB, 2Gb, 4GB and 8GB and in colors of the familiar white and a black version. It also has a LED indicator for showing that is connected and utilizes USB 2.0 for PCs or Macs.

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Pyramid power: awesome electric car

Posted in Automotive by Conner Flynn on February 19th, 2008

Pyramid power
Looking eerily like something out of old low budget Sci-Fi movies, this pyramid electric car weighs 8,000-pounds and is powered by 80-batteries, with four engines. It can supposedly reach speeds of up to 45mph. I love how the canopy pops open like a Colonial Viper from Battlestar Galactica. It was built by a Father and his two sons. Check out a video after the jump.

The “Dream Car” is solar powered, on four wheels. The vehicle can run for 80 miles on a single charge, taking about four hours to charge the battery. It’s got some extras too. An in-car heating system for one, electric brakes, gel-filled tires and cool neon lights. This was obviously a labor of love as it cost the Zanises $60,000 in supplies, and a ton of hours to build. They’re now looking for financial backers, because they need $40,000 to build a Mark 2 prototype. They would like to get the range up to 500 miles.

Nokia’s Eco Sensor concept phone

Posted in Concepts,Mobile Phones,Nokia by Conner Flynn on January 10th, 2008

Nokia’s Eco Sensor concept phone
The idea behind Nokia’s latest concept phone is the merging of communications and health and environment. One would be able to share environmental data that the sensing device collects and view other users’ shared data, increasing global environmental awareness.

A sensor unit will be worn on a wrist or as a neck strap made from solar cells that power the sensors. NFC (near field communication) technology will relay information by touch from the sensors to the phone, or even to other devices that support NFC technology. Both the phone and the sensor unit will be as compact as possible to minimize materials used, and those materials would be renewable and/or reclaimed. Inside the devices, would be more energy saving technology.

CES 2008

Solio’s new charger offers double the power fun

Posted in CES 2008,Chargers,Solar Powered by Nino Marchetti on January 9th, 2008

Solio MagnesiumBetter Energy Systems, the company behind the eco-friendly Solio Classic hybrid (solar/wall socket) handheld electronics charger, is at CES with a new charger it says packs almost double the power of the original. It’s called the Solio Magnesium and it is being priced at around $200.

The Solio Magnesium is capable of fully charging a cell phone approximately three times. It “combines efficient solar cells, a powerful internal battery, and a rugged, environmentally friendly magnesium alloy shell.” Compatibility exists with the iGo tip system for supporting the charging of multiple types of devices and includes a female USB for an iPod.

The LongRanger electric bike

Posted in Automotive,Personal Transport by Conner Flynn on December 28th, 2007

The LongRanger electric bike

The LongRanger electric bike is basically a mountain bike with a motor assist. Yes, it’s street legal and not as dorky looking as some attempts at an eco friendly bike. You can build it to get up to 62 miles with a single charge and you can customize it to suit your needs by altering the top speed, acceleration, weight or range. Short or long distance travelling is not a problem.

You can even add a solar charger to the system so you don’t have to worry about maintenance. You are basically paying $14.99 USD for instructions on how to build the thing. It’s a great environmental alternative to loud noisy bikes while getting around at decent speeds.

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Water powered calculator for when the sun fails

Posted in Calculators by Conner Flynn on December 28th, 2007

Water powered calculator

I’m not sure what the thinking is behind this water powered calculator. As far as I know, no one is having any difficulty with their solar powered calculators and the sun hasn’t burned out as far as I can tell. I suppose it might come in handy for 2 lone researchers facing 6 months of night in a polar bunker though. So this one’s for you guys. Hope you’re reading.

To get this calculator to work just pour water into it and insert a stopper. The electrolytes in the water power it so you can crunch your numbers. It only costs $8.99. How you are going to get it shipped to your end of the world location is your problem.

Wave energy converters to go live in California

Posted in Green,News,Science by Darrin Olson on December 18th, 2007

Wave energy converter buoy to be put to use to produce electricity in CaliforniaSome California residents might be receiving electricity from a more novel, environmentally friendly and source in the coming years. PG&E has announced that it is going to team up with Finavera Renewables to build a “wave farm” off the coast of California in order to generate electricity.

The wave farm consists of “wave energy converters”, or basically large buoys like Finavera’s Aquabuoy pictured here. As the buoy moves up and down on top of the waves that pass by it drives a piston which is anchored on the ocean floor. The piston creates pressure which drives a turbine and in turn creates electricity. A single full-scale Aquabuoy can generate 250 killowatts which can power approximately 80 homes. The initial plan is to create a farm of these buoys that will generate 2 megawatts of electricity by 2012, and if things go well they will ramp up the farm to produce 100 megawatts.

Boating in the future

Posted in Concepts,Solar Powered by Chetz on November 17th, 2007

volitan.jpgJust as the automobile manufacturers are thinking about the next generation of cleaner, more efficient automobiles so too are the boat makers. This concept design for a future boat is called the Volitan and it comes from a Turkish architectural design company called Designnobis Studio. Made with lightweight materials the Volitan does away with traditional billowy sails in favor of two solar collector columns that gather light from the sun and also utilize wind power. It kind of looks like an X-Wing floating on the water and just like Luke Skywalker’s spaceship from “Star Wars” the Volitan’s solar wings can raise up and down but also go one step better and turn around to better collect the energy and/or wind power. Two small stabilizer wings are affixed to the lower side of the Volitan’s body which help it stay afloat even in storms that blow up to 60 knots. Small rudders in the stabilizers can allow the captain to turn the craft on a dime.

Don’t go green, go Orange instead

Posted in Headsets,Solar Powered by Chetz on November 12th, 2007

iqua 603 Sun solar powered headsetEveryone is thinking of new ways to reduce our energy consumption needs with renewable sources of power. Solar technology is one of the cleanest of these new forms of energy since all of the power comes from sunlight and there are zero emissions. Who complains about the sun being too noisy or creating smog? There has been solar powered cars, homes, ships and even flashlights but until now there has never been a solar powered mobile phone headset.

British-based phone retailer Orange has unveiled the world’s first ever solar powered Bluetooth headset called the Iqua 603 Sun. If you’re exposed to the sun the cells on the top of the headset will keep it fully charged for all your talking needs. If you work indoors or in the dark a fully charged battery will give you nine hours of talk time or 200 hours in standby mode. The solar cells are sensitive enough to pick up indirect sunlight as well which will boost your talk time to 12 hours. The volume control is on the side and just one button will let you answer or end a call or redial a number.

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Summertime jellyfish

Posted in Concepts,Lamps,Solar Powered by Chetz on September 30th, 2007

Medusa pool light is a solar lamp that floats in swimming poolsOf course it’s the fall and the days of summer are fast falling behind us but before you pack up the pool equipment there is one final thingy we want to show you. This is the Medusa pool light, a solar autonomous floating lamp for swimming pools. Toss one of these organic looking devices into your backyard pool and it will light up the water for your nighttime swims. The tentacles look to be made from fiber optics and gently twist and turn around in the current. The great thing about it is that since it gets all of its energy from the sun you never need to charge it up.

Rugged hands-on with the Casio G’zOne Type-S

Posted in Casio,Mobile Phones,Outdoors,Review,Verizon,Waterproof by Reuben Drake on September 30th, 2007

Casio G’zOne Type-S is a rugged mobile phone that can take wet, shock and outdoor exposureThis past June we wrote about Casio’s tough G’zOne Type-S mobile phone when it was released and we recently got a chance to get our hands on one to see just how tough this thing really was and what “water resistant” really meant. What we found is that the G’zOne Type-S lives up to its hype on standing against the elements and also had some nice surprises we were not expecting.

Aptera goes green (and saves you your green too)

Posted in Cars by Chetz on September 28th, 2007

Aptera 3-wheeled vehicle energy efficient carThis funky 21st century vehicle is the Aptera, a three-wheeled energy efficient car that will come in either an all-electric version or a hybrid model. You get a top speed of 95 MPH, zero to 60 MPH in 10 seconds it seats 2 comfortably (or 3 squished together). A solar panel on the roof is used to help power the climate control system inside. It uses RFID to power on, has GPS navigation and a CD/MP3/DVD sound system with XM radio too. Safety is covered by the Aptera’s twin airbags and a rear view camera.

If you throw down a fully refundable $500 now you can secure an Aptera when the vehicles begin to roll off the assembly line in a year. The hybrid model will get you about 230 miles per gallon and costs $29,900 while the fully electric model only gets you 120 miles before your charge is depleted (but you save on the sticker price which is $26,900).

Mitsubishi Unveils the Electric i MIEV Sport

Posted in Cars,Concepts,Mitsubishi by Darrin Olson on September 8th, 2007

The Mitsubishi i MIEV Sport electric car has a solar roof and wind turbines in the grillMitsubishi took the wraps off of a new zero-emission, all-electric concept car called the e MIEV Sport. Aside from having a pretty cool look to it, the i MIEV Sport features a couple less-common additions to add juice back to the battery while driving.

As with many other electric and hybrid cars, this one uses a regenerative braking system, but also adds a solar roof and small wind turbines built into the front grill. Additions like these aren’t going to make a drastic difference in the range, but adding a convex solar roof was found to bring as much as an additional 20 mile range to a Prius. The turbines would likely be less, but certainly can’t hurt.



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