Open Planet Ideas – Innovation by the people for the planet

by Emily on November 12, 2010

in Green Tech

Technology is deemed a very good thing for us.  It makes our lives easier and better. That is why Open Planet Ideas, in conjunction with Sony and WWF, is inviting you to help create a clean and green environment for the present and future generations with the use of existing technologies. If you have a great idea in mind, then by all means join the challenge! View the gist of the challenge here or you could also click here for more details.

All you have to do is submit an article about your concept or you can further build on a previous concept.  A panel will review all the concepts and decide which is the best one for development.

A Concept Example

Solar-powered Laptop Battery Recharger (view on OPI website)

There are many reasons why people like to use the Internet. Such reasons may be that they like to use social media sites to connect with others or they use it simply for work. Nowadays, more and more people, especially those belonging to the younger generation, prefer laptops over desktop computers because of its portability. However, many laptop users who are always on the go are very prone to having low battery problems. The most common solution for this kind of problem is simply to buy another battery pack. However, there are two downsides to this: If both batteries run out while you’re still outside, then you can no longer use your laptop at that point. Another thing to point out is that not all of us can afford to buy another battery pack as laptop batteries can be very expensive.

How about being able to easily charge your laptop battery by simply giving it some sunshine? My concept is simply putting a dye-sensitized solar cell at the top cover of the laptop. Since the dye-sensitized solar cells are claimed to be more environmentally friendly and less expensive than traditional silicon solar cells, putting it on a laptop should not make its price skyrocket. Also, these dye-sensitized solar cells can appear in a variety of colors and shapes and they are also ultra-thin, so I think they are a perfect addition for laptops and people on the go.

Which technology are you repurposing?

The technology is already available – a Dye Sensitized Solar Cell. It is built-in on the lid of the laptop with an internal connection to the battery pack. With this kind of technology, laptop users who are out often do not have to worry anymore about running out on their batteries. When they do run out, they just need to find some sunlight. Even a little is good enough as dye sensitized solar cells can still work under low light conditions.

What kind of behavioural change does this require, if any?

  1. Individual behavioural change
  2. Community driven behavioural change

What is this concept missing?

A few minor changes or enhancements could be done to make the dye sensitized solar cell compatible with laptops. Hopefully this can become real in the future.

Before you start off with your awesome idea to help save the planet, feel free to go see some of Sony’s current technologies that you can use as your building blocks for your concept. Some examples include the wireless microphone, GPS, Sweep Panorama, Remote Video Monitoring, and so on. You do not necessarily have to use one of these technologies for your concept, but they are there to help inspire you.

What’s in it for you? The great news is that Sony will invest engineering and R&D resources to develop the idea into a proof of concept stage, but they will not commercialize or make any profit out of it. Instead, the results will be released to the public and can be used by other groups for the good of the environment. Isn’t that awesome?

Go ahead – your awesome idea might be the chosen one. Click here to find out more about Open Planet Ideas.

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Comments & Leave a Comment

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jax November 12, 2010 at 16:21

It’s a great website isn’t it? Love your concept, and liking your blog. Have to say that this campaign is broadening my reading base substantially 🙂
Jax recently posted… Open Planet Ideas- from Sony and the WWF

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darcy January 10, 2011 at 21:53

This is such a great idea. Hopefully, you can get it all taken care of!!!

I read an article in Nat Geo Magazine a couple of months ago. It dealt with designing simple things that can make a difference in undeveloped parts of the world. One of the submissions was a long straw that filtered water.

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