One of the highlights of the Greener Gadgets Conference was, of course, the design competition. Last week I gave descriptions of a few of the online favorites, but last Friday, a winner was chosen.
Four designs were selected to battle it out through audience applause: The Power Hog, Tweet-a-Watt, Laundry Pod and Indoor Drying Rack (as would be expected at this conference, the decibels were measured with an iPhone application). The Tweet-a-Watt designers walked away with first place and $3,000; Power Hog came in second and the designers received $2,000 and finally, Indoor Drying Rack came in third and the designer received $1,000. The Laundry Pod designers received a gift from one of the conference's sponsors, but didn't officially place.
So what's the Tweet-a-Watt? What does it do? It is actually a rigged Kill-a-Watt electricity meter that plugs into any outlet and publishes daily updates on your power use to Twitter. The judges and audience agreed that knowing your friends were watching your energy consumption was a great motivator to conserve. The major detail that set this device apart is the fact that it is already a working, Twittering gadget, publishing the design team's electricity use as you read this. The team also made it an open-source project so anyone who wants to start Twittering their kWh, can do so. You can see the Tweet-a-Watt after the jump.
The thing that the finalists had in common was that they all focused on decreasing energy use. They weren't solar powered or a more efficient version of anything else, they discouraged power consumption. The Laundry Pod and Indoor Drying Rack gave you an electricity-free way to clean and dry your clothes, and the Power Hog required your child to deposit a quarter to access an outlet's electricity. The Tweet-a-Watt provided motivation to turn off the lights and unplug your gadgets.
These finalists seemed to summarize nicely the theme of the whole conference - to cut consumption and to use our things and electricity more thoughtfully.
written by Ashley Futak, March 04, 2009
written by Fred, June 25, 2009
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