It just had to come out of the Netherlands. These contraptions, called the "Light Wind," are manufactured by Dutch design firm Demakersvan, and they're outdoor lights powered by wind. They might look like design-savvy variations on those little propeller beanie hats that I'm sure a few people over at the Googleplex have been known to accessorize with, but I personally think these are a cool "green" idea. They even have the capacity to store up energy when it's windy so that the light will keep shining all night long. (For size comparisons, the … Read more
If nothing else, this musical instrument is worth mentioning because it's not one of those infernal USB guitars that are encouraging middle-aged men everywhere to make fools of themselves. Ion's "USB Electronic Wind Instrument" looks like a futuristic clarinet but does a lot more, offering "a range of woodwind, brass, string, synthesizer, percussion and other instruments straight from your computer."
Chip Chick notes that the instrument also comes with its own software and touch-sensitive buttons that can vary pitches and blends for truly original arrangements. That could be a good or a bad thing, … Read more
Venturi, a French company that bills itself as "The Carbon Neutral Company," has a new electric vehicle that can also be powered by nature.
Whenever I see cars like this, my first thought is always...OK, how fast does it go? Politics aside, no one wants to be the guy in the Trabant.
The answer for the Venturi Eclectic is not that fast, but not that bad for what it is. It tops out at 31 mph.
As with the Tamarack Lake Engine Company's solar-electric pontoon boat, recreational vehicles like these seem to be more about making … Read more
Count 'em, two trends in one. We've written exhaustively (and exhaustingly) about the maddening ubiquity of iPod cases and retro design. So what do we come across? Oh joy, a product that combines both categories.
The "iHome iH19" is a protective water-resistant case for the iPod that includes built-in speakers--and the resulting form looks remarkably like a old boombox from the '70s. The case has features that update the concept for 21st century use, of course, but just looking at it will always make us nostalgic.
No, it's not some kind of futuristic crossbow, though we would certainly understand if you thought it was. This weird-looking contraption is the "Loopwing Wind Turbine," a wind-powered energy source designed for home use and scheduled for official introduction at Japan's Eco-Products 2006 Exhibition. Treehugger says the device's wing design operates with "low vibration" but notes that the specs are vague--"43 percent power performance at optimum wind speeds," whatever that means. Still, we're reasonably sure it has more guts than the recently discovered wind-operated lamp.
As alternative energies finally become more mainstream, wind power often remains an afterthought compared with solar and other sources. The Elica lamp, made by an Italian design firm, is taking one modest step to raise wind energy awareness among the masses.
The lamp can be turned on and off by blowing on its "helix," or propeller. Mobile Whack says an "airblow censor" can help keep the lamp from being switched on accidentally. We have only one issue with this otherwise innovative appliance: According to the Elica site, it must still be plugged into an electrical outlet--which, … Read more
People laughed when they first saw wind sailing, so hold your snickers. The Pterosail may look a little silly at first, but we wouldn't be surprised if it took off.
The custom street-legal tricycle, which Treehugger says can reach 40 mph, is outfitted with an electric motor and full sailing system. And despite the Goldbergian appearance of this contraption, it's no slouch in the tech department: It can convert wind energy into electricity for two 24-volt batteries. Now we just have to keep it away from our 3-year-old.
(Photo: Pterosail Trike Systems)
For those of you worried about intruders and global warming, Matsushita Electric (Panasonic to us North Americans) has come up with a security camera that runs on solar power or wind power. That way it works in rain or shine. This picture was taken at the company's Eco and UD house, an ecologically friendly home that it says can be commercially viable by 2010.
(Photo: Michael Kanellos/CNET Networks)