Gadget makers are going green, too

Industry pundits love to create excitement around a new product or technological advancement. Now, more and more high-tech personal computing and consumer electronics gadgets are generating their own power, too.

At the recent Computex International Information Technology show in Taipei, supplementary power supplies were built in to some of the show’s award-winning top products. It’s one of the signs that the green revolution is being incorporated into consumer electronics in a big way, even if the products are smaller.

The SlimStar 820 Solargizer from Genius Technologies is a case in point. It’s a solar-powered computer input platform, complete with wireless mouse and a keyboard that transforms light into operational power. There’s a built-in solar panel on the face of the keyboard itself, looking much like a little LCD screen that does the conversion.

The keyboard is wireless, so cable clutter is reduced along with power consumption. In case of darkness, the package can be powered with alkaline batteries. Equipped with programmable function and hotkeys, USB connectivity, 2.4 GHz wireless and a scrolling mouse wheel, the keyboard input kit is designed to be functional and well as ecological.

The fungaia Zubene from Golden Bridge has the similar goals in mind. The Zubene is like a handheld solar panel, absorbing energy from light and converting it to useable power, in this case for other portable devices like digital audio players or cell phones. Power output is via USB cable, so most personal computing gadgets will immediately be compatible.

The solar power bank folds open, much like a wallet or passport holder, when in use. It comes with AC power adapters, so a wall plug is always an alternate power source.

Just imagine if all consumer electronic devices looked at AC as an alternate power source, and used solar energy as the main operational power source instead. That would generate a real buzz — a real green buzz.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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