Green giz­mos

More and more gad­gets are green on the in­side, writes Jen­nifer Dud­ley- Nicholson

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Tech -

VOLTAIC SPARK SO­LAR TABLET CASE Voltaic, $ US299 voltaic­sys­tems. com

When is a gad­get bag more than a bag? When it is ca­pa­ble of pow­er­ing the gad­get it car­ries. This carry case shows its smarts on its face with four two-watt so­lar panels laid out in a grid. When ex­posed to sun­light, these panels charge the bag’s in­ter­nal bat­tery that is ca­pa­ble of com­pletely recharg­ing an Ap­ple iPad. Voltaic’s Spark case is also ca­pa­ble of charg­ing other tablets, in­clud­ing Black­Berry’s Play­book and Sam­sung’s Galaxy Tab, and will add power to dig­i­tal SLR cam­era bat­ter­ies. It takes time to get en­ergy from the sun, how­ever. Ten hours of ex­po­sure is re­quired to fully charge an iPad. The bag weighs more than 1kg, but the trade-off might be worth it.

TTR DES­TINY HEAD­PHONES House of Mar­ley, $ 349.95 house­of­mar­ley. com. au

Cre­ated by Bob Mar­ley’s fam­ily, and spear­headed by son Ro­han, this brand uses sus­tain­able, re­cy­clable ma­te­ri­als in its au­dio prod­ucts. The ear­buds and head­phones were de­signed with Homedics over two years and these TTR Des­tiny Head­phones rep­re­sent the top tier of the range for use by DJs, mu­si­cians and au­dio­philes. The head­phones come housed in re­cy­clable alu­minium, fea­ture earcups made from leather and come in a can­vas stor­age bag. De­spite their eco roots, the head­phones fea­ture ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy, in­clud­ing ac­tive noise can­cel­la­tion, 40mm dy­namic driv­ers, an in­line re­mote with iPod con­trols and a braided cord for fewer tan­gles.

H20 WATER-POW­ERED SHOWER RA­DIO Lat­est­Buy, $ 59.95 lat­est­buy. com. au

Hy­dro-elec­tric­ity is nor­mally cre­ated on a much grander scale than this. Re­gard­less, this 10cm-long ra­dio is ca­pa­ble of be­ing pow­ered by water. It con­nects to your shower hose, as­sum­ing your shower has one, and water then flows through the ra­dio, spin­ning a mi­cro­tur­bine that charges its in­ter­nal bat­tery. The ra­dio is ca­pa­ble of tuning in ra­dio sta­tions on the FM band and comes with very ba­sic con­trols, in­clud­ing two but­tons to scan for sta­tions and an­other two for vol­ume con­trol. Users can­not store their favourite sta­tions, how­ever, and those with a shower head are not can­di­dates for this water-pow­ered gad­get.

LASER SMART POWER ME­TER BOARD Laser, $ 129.95 www. laserco. com. au

This Smart Power Me­ter Board from Laser not only de­liv­ers power to six de­vices but it mea­sures their elec­tric­ity use. Users can even key the price they are charged per kilo­watt hour into this board for it to dis­play, in dol­lars, just how much con­nected de­vices are us­ing on its small LCD screen. The power board, clearly de­signed for use in a home the­atre, also has a mas­ter-and-slave fea­ture. Users can plug a TV into the Smart port, for ex­am­ple, and when it is turned off, the power board will cut power to any de­vices in the Green ports – a DVD player or games con­sole, for in­stance. Users can also plug a set-top box into the Al­ways On port to main­tain record­ings.

WIRE­LESS SO­LAR KEY­BOARD K750 Log­itech, $ 149.95 log­itech. com/ au

Re­plac­ing the bat­ter­ies in your wire­less key­board can not only be te­dious but less than ideal for the environment. Log­itech has cre­ated a thought­ful al­ter­na­tive in this wire­less key­board with two elon­gated so­lar panels above its func­tion keys. The key­board is sleek and slen­der, at less than 1cm thick, and it con­nects to a com­puter us­ing a small USB trans­mit­ter. Though this key­board does con­vert sun­light into power, it can also soak up power from in­door light­ing so you are not left want­ing. Log­itech also prom­ises that this key­board will main­tain a charge af­ter three months kept in the dark.

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