|CES Plugs Green Technology|
By Jeff St. John
January 5, 2009
The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas will feature power-saving
laptop chargers, energy-efficient devices and a host of discussions on
electronics recycling and green technology innovations.
Green is the new watchword in the consumer electronics industry – just take a
look at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week.
Advertisement Amid the 2,700 exhibitors will be companies from startups to
electronics giants promoting energy-efficient TVs, laptop battery chargers and
efforts to reduce the "carbon footprint" of manufacturing and business operations.
CES started promoting itself as a "green" trade show last year. While the show's
"Greener Gadgets Tech Zone" will have only 20 companies presenting this year,
that's up from 9 companies in the previous year, said Tara Dunion, CES spokeswoman.
Among them are Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies, and Medis Technologies, which
make fuel cells to power consumer electronics device; ELV Motors, maker of
electric bicycles and scooters; and carbon emissions modeling software maker
Planet Metrics (see Planet Metrics Launches Carbon Modeling, Raises $2.3M),
Solar companies feature heavily in the greener gadgets mix, with companies
including PowerFilm, which is developing lightweight, flexible solar
photovoltaic materials for building-integrated and portable uses; Solio, maker
of a handheld solar charging device for use with consumer electronics; and
Freeplay Energy, a company that makes solar-powered radios and hand-crank
Then there are companies pitching products that help PCs, cell phones, cameras
and other consumer electronics use energy more efficiently.
Tricklestar makes a USB-connected device that the company says can switch a PC's
peripheral devices on and off by detecting when the computer is on or off. Green
Plug has developed technology for power interfaces that can take wall-socket
power and deliver it to different consumer electronics devices to maximize
efficiency and avoid wasting power on already charged-up batteries. And iGo Inc.
is hitting CES with chargers, surge protectors and wall outlets that
automatically shut off so-called "vampire" power to devices that don't need it.
The energy-efficiency action isn't limited to startups. Japanese manufacturers
will likely trot out ultra-efficient TVs and other appliances at CES this year.
Many of these manufacturers showed off energy efficient TV sets at CEATEC,
Japan's version of CES, back in October (see Venture Power in Japan: Green
Electronics). However, these same companies often re-introduce products at CES
for U.S. audiences.
As part of the green push, CES will host a number of panel discussions
addressing efficiency improvements for batteries and chargers, different
strategies for saving energy with electronic devices, and best practices in
Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Sharp will have executives on hand for a session on
"Going Green: More Than a Label," and a Saturday session on "greener gadgets"
will lay out emerging trends and technologies in sustainable design for consumer electronics.
And when it comes to the logistics of running a trade show, CES wants people to
know it's more environmentally conscious. The show offers exhibitors a
"sustainable exhibit solutions" package with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
certified exhibit walls, recycled carpeting and shelves and counters made from
formaldehyde-free particle board.
CES also has cut its paper use in half, Dunion said, and offers food containers
made from biodegradable materials made from hemp, corn and other organic sources.