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