Fukusada, who previously worked with Sharp, designed the "still under development" lamp with a "mix of modern design and traditional craft technique," as noted on his Web site. … Read more
Your Gmail box lives somewhere in the jumble of servers, cables, and hard drives known as the "cloud" but it often migrates in search of the ideal location.
Google today released an animation that answers the question: what happens when I press send on Gmail? The company created the interactive feature called The Story of Send to highlight the security and relatively low energy footprint of its data centers. The graphics repeat Google's estimate that its data centers use 50 percent less energy than a typical data center and 30 percent of their data center energy is … Read more
Scientists are genetically engineering viruses in the pursuit of better battery life, perhaps leading to smartphones charged from the motion of walking.
The Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory yesterday described a microelectronic device that uses a benign virus to build up electric charge from movement.
Its first prototype was able to display the No. 1 on an LCD display when a person pressed a postage-stamp size button.
That amount of current isn't useful enough to charge common electronics, such as a music player or phone. But the researchers' novel approach to harvesting energy from motion shows … Read more
It's a green-energy geek's dream do-it-yourself project: attach a few solar panels to your deck and watch your electric bills go down. Now one company is selling such a product.
SpinRay Energy has developed a system that lets consumers install up to five solar panels on their decks and plug them into an outdoor power outlet. People can install one panel at a time, and get up to 1,000 watts of power with five installed.
The main electrical components of the system have the UL safety certification, including the solar panel and the microinverter, which converts direct … Read more
Windows that shade automatically have been part of high-tech home demos for years, but there are signs that smart glass is leaving research labs and heading into more actual buildings.
Building-materials maker Saint Gobain earlier this week acquired Sage Electrochromics, and another smart glass startup, Soladigm, signed a distribution deal with Guardian Industries, one of the largest glass manufacturers.
Materials scientists have toiled for years developing glass that can automatically tint based on the amount of light coming in, but technical challenges have meant that the technology is hardly used.
The investment by large companies in tintable window glass signals … Read more
Toshiba and Bridgelux think they're worked out the key ingredient to making LED lighting mainstream: silicon.
The two companies today announced a partnership to manufacture LED light sources using much of the equipment typically used in semiconductor fabs. They intend have a commercial-scale facility operating next year, according to Bridgelux CEO Bill Watkins. As part of the deal, Toshiba has invested an undisclosed amount in Livermore, Calif.-based Bridgelux.
LED light sources, which are used in everything from TVs and consumer light bulbs, are typically made with a semiconductor -- gallium nitride -- on a layer of sapphire. Bridgelux … Read more
"It's the right thing to do. And it's also an opportunity to promote positive change, as the world transitions to new ways of using energy and managing natural resources," Microsoft's chief operating officer Kevin Turner said in a blog post yesterday. "That's why today, Microsoft is taking a significant step to further reduce our environmental footprint."
July marks the beginning of the … Read more
Retailer Brookstone will sell a portable fuel cell able to charge smartphones a dozen times before running out.
Fuel cell maker Lilliputian Systems today announced that Brookstone will be the first retailer to carry its portable USB power source, which will be sold under Brookstone's brand. The fuel cell device is about the size of a thick smartphone, and the lighter fluid-filled cartridges are about the same size as a cigarette lighter.
It's a big step forward both for Lilliputian Systems, a 10-year-old spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and for portable fuel cell technology in general. … Read more
BOSTON--Internet, meet clean tech.
A weekend hackathon here showcased the promise -- and limits -- of applying mobile and Internet software development toward efficiency. To advocates, the "cleanweb" will succeed where clean tech fell short.
The Cleanweb hackathon, held in a warehouse-turned tech incubator in South Boston, on Sunday afternoon finished up a day and a half of furious coding by about 80 programmers, with some spending the night to finish their demos.
The 16 teams presented a very varied set of applications but they have one thing in common: they all seek ways to use natural resources … Read more
Switch Lighting's LED bulbs have similar technical specs to its competitors, but the startup is counting on clever design and good looks to stand out in a crowded field.
The company plans to make its first three general-purpose light bulbs available this summer to lighting distributors and today is expected to introduce a three-way bulb and a 240-volt bulb for markets outside the U.S.
Its first bulbs are replacements for 40-watt, 60-watt, and 75-watt incandescent lamps. Costing between $40 and $50, they are primarily aimed at commercial customers. Switch Lighting is also working on a less expensive consumer-oriented … Read more