At the Greener Gadgets Competition in New York the most popular devices were those that revealed their energy use to the consumer. Now in its second year, the competition invites conceptual ideas not yet in production, similar to how concept cars at auto shows point to the future of the car industry. Allan Chochinov of design blog Core77 moderated the judging and audience voting, electing the greenest gadgets of tomorrow.
The first place winner, Tweet-a-Watt, sends kilowatt hours a person consumes to a unique Twitter account. The device-to-Twitter system gives the user an incentive to curb their energy consumption so as not to embarrass themselves in front of their Twitter following. Developed by Philip Torrone of Make Magazine and his colleagues, the idea was not so much a commercial product concept as a DIY project, and the team intends to publish a how-to toolkit online for anyone to replicate.
Other runner up gadgets followed the theme: Powerhog, which won second place, is an adorable piggy bank concept that teaches kids about energy use, requiring them to deposit coins any time they power a device. Standby Monsters are red translucent stickers that illuminate the “vampire energy” of gadgets. All of these gadget concepts provide tangible feedback of energy use, reassuring the consumer that their actions can have a direct impact on the environment, and on their wallet.