CES 2011: Green Trends

by Doug Felteau on January 9, 2011

Green Technology at CES Green technologies have been hot for the past four to five years at CES, and 2011 was no exception with everything from energy-efficient gadgets to fully electric cars were on display at CES this year. Below are seven Green trends spotted at the 2011 CES show:

The first green trend includes a rebranding of the home automation industry into home energy management. When times are tough for an industry, you need to adapt are focus on the trends. The typical companies where at CES like Control4 and iControl, but startups including GreenWave Reality (started June 2010 by former Cisco execs) and 4Home (which was acquired recently by Motorola) showed products. 4Home will provide connected home service with energy management in a service that will be piloted through Verizon in New Jersey next month.

The second green trend includes electric and connected cards. CEO Alan Mulally gave his third CES keynote and announced the Ford Focus 2012 fully electric car and touted that the Ford connected Sync platform is being used in 3 million Ford cars to date. Off the green topic for a minute, if you have not played with the Sync platform, ask for a demo from a friend – it works well. Additionally, CES provided a dedicated zone to electric vehicles.

The third trend includes energy-efficient gadgets. The standard companies including Belkin presented their smart office/home power gadget lines while startups like Green Plug showed off their smarter consumption technology.

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Fourth, since we can’t run our gadgets without energy storage and batteries so energy strorage is the next trend. One of the most interesting items to come out of this trend includes a new gadget Universal Power showed off – a solar-powered portable generator called the Ecotricity ECO1800.

Another hot trend at CES is wireless power. Wireless power technology has been hyped year after year but has been under delivered. Demonstrations this year include Energizer’s Inductive Charger and accessories for the iPhone, designed by ConvenientPower Group; the Fulton Innovation Transmitter; Leggett & Platt Helios Wireless Chargers and center console; and Texas Instruments’ bqTESLA Evaluation Kit for developing wireless power products. Arconas and Powermat also announced that coming soon to an airport seat and lounge near you, you’ll be able to wirelessly charge your gadgets with their technology.

The sixth hot trend at CES and one of the most noticeable jump in interest is the Smart Grid. CES and Clasma Events have organized a full series of sessions with speakers like NIST’s George Arnold and Reliant Energy’s Jason Few while GE, Cisco and power company NRG Energy had booths at the show.

Finally, CES focused on gadget recycling by teaming up with Earth911. Startup Gazelle showed up to tout its gadget, cell phone and laptop reseller and recycling web site.

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