Here’s an update to an old article about a tree-shaped charger powered by solar energy. Vivien Muller’s Electree+ is on Kickstarter seeking to raise $200,000 to mass-produce these little home/office gadgets here in the USA. The new prototype will be made with an 14,000 mAh internal battery, 27 amorphous silicon solar cells (each about 3.7 inches), and an easy-to-assemble tree structure that can be customized. In case you’re interested, the early bird gets in at the ground level for ~$199.00.
House-Lamp is a new Kickstarter project by San Francisco-based architect Lauren Daley. The project features three styles — modern, bungalow, and eco — of architecturally inspired luminaries made of CNC and laser-cut basswood with a solid wood or plywood base. Daley is offering these LED-powered illuminated houses without the task lamp for $250 and with the task lamp for $275. Pictured is Eco with laser-etched rooftop solar PV.
I’ve seen innovation in the smart LED space from the likes of Google and Insteon, but San Francisco-based LIFX Labs aims to reinvent the light bulb with a new, successfully-funded Kickstarter project called LIFX. The LED bulb is WiFi-enabled, energy-efficient, multi-colored, and controllable from an iPhone or Android. It will be available as Edison-type, bayonet cap, or downlight with everything necessary to work at home or in a business with a pledge from $69 on Kickstarter.
There’s an interesting Kickstarter campaign right now for an innovation called SmartThings. SmartThings is a Minnesota-based company and an open platform to connect everyday things to the internet to monitor, control, and automate. The company wants to add “intelligence to everyday things in your world, so that your life can be more awesome.“ It consists of a hub, “things,” maker tools, a cloud platform, and mobile app.
I mentioned Wattvision previously, and the company is now running a Kickstarter campaign to deploy its complete the next generation of hardware, cover more types of power meters, and deploy the new hardware by about January 2013. Wattvision 2 includes a sensor that attaches to your home electricity meter and a gateway that connects up with your internet network. With these in place, a user can check electricity use online or from a smart phone.