I’m Dreaming of a Green CES

Last year was the year CES jumped on the green bandwagon, going over the top to promote new energy-saving initiatives and ways to offset the show’s massive carbon footprint. It was all a bit ridiculous given the numerous ways in which the CE industry and CES in particular are environmentally unfriendly. (You know, lots of disposable parts, icky manufacturing chemicals, and people like me flying from all over the world to meet up in Las Vegas…) However, the environmental measures were a step in the right direction, and even the green hype has its benefits.

This year, more CES exhibitors have joined in the green fun. In all of the pre-CES pitch emails I’ve received, green tech is the category that shows up the most often. And there’s some cool stuff set to launch. If the marketing is to be believed, we’ll soon see remote controls that never run out of power, new mats that charge your gadgets without their power cords, and technology that reduces the carbon emissions of idling PCs. I’m a little skeptical of first-gen products as they tend to be too expensive, or not quite convenient enough. But I’m determined to be open-minded. And even if the first-gen products aren’t market-changing, there’s always the next generation, and the one after that.

Meanwhile, other folks are spotting parallel trends out of this year’s CES PR push. Dean Takahashi reports that 3D displays and glasses are likely to be big, while the PC Mag crew are prepping for ultra-thin HDTVs and lots of new notebooks and netbooks. Mark Spoonauer over at Laptop Magazine declares that “cheap is the new cool” as far as CES gadgets are concerned, and Jeff Bakalar at CNET is predicting a bigger gaming presence at CES this year than last.

It’s only another week and a half until the fun begins. Any reader predictions? Anything you want me and Dave to scout out?

7 thoughts on “I’m Dreaming of a Green CES”

  1. Mat charging is not ‘green’ unless its contact-based. The inductive stuff will use more power than normal, plug-it-in, charging.

    We’ve seen ‘sleep’ buttons on keyboards nobody uses, so I don’t see how a eco-button will help.

    A real help would be the general efficiency of always-on devices to be maximized or new software to turn them off when not recording, much like MCE can do with PCs.

  2. Scott- I will be testing out a powermat, so I’ll let you know..

    RE: always-on devices- More people would turn their gadgets off if they turned back on quickly. Fix that and I bet you’d have more people disconnecting stuff when it’s not in use.

  3. That solar powered Nextar Bluetooth speakerphone for the car looks promising. Will have to seek it out next week.

    Mari, regarding on/off speed that is the #1 reason I use a Mac laptop. Nearly instantaneous sleep and wake when I close or open my laptop lid. Priceless. Actually, the price is about twice that of a typical Windows laptop.

  4. I believe I saw an announcement for a solar powered charging mat. I’d be all over that. The green tech does look promising and quite wide-spread. I’ll be eager to read your reviews of everything too.

  5. Have fun at CES guys. I’ve read rumors that there will be sub-$1k cablecard media centers. I’m very interested in those, epically since I just decided to build my own. BTW, thanks for the media extender recommendations in the other post, Dave. It was that discussion that led mo to contemplate my own build.

    If anyone is interested, I have a journal of sorts for the build here:


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