Friday, June 26, 2009

England supermarket is powered by shoppers’ kinetic energy

Now here's a novel way of 'stealing' peoples' power..... by harvesting the kinetic energy of shoppers! A recent article reports that

An English supermarket is deploying a green energy system that allows it to harvest energy from the natural movement of its shoppers.

Sainsbury, England’s third largest supermarket chain, has decided to deploy a road plate technology developed by AEST from California that generates electricity whenever pressure is applied on it, for example, a car running over it.

AEST says that a system of 20 plates can generate about 10,000 to 12,000 kWh of energy per day, and cost $2.5 million. The system generates energy which allows saving of approximately $300,000 a year.

The Sainsbury system will generate 30kW per hour, which is enough to power the store’s lighting and computers.

Read more at 'England supermarket is powered by shoppers’ kinetic energy'


Monday, June 22, 2009

World's megacities ripe for 'megadisaster'

According to the UN's humanitarian chief in a recent speech, some of the world's biggest cities are at growing risk of "megadisasters". He also warned that climate change was behind a rising number of natural catastrophes:

"We are going to see more disasters and more intense disasters as a result of climate change," said UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes.

"The trends in disasters particularly from climate change are of enormous concern. We can only expect that this trend is going to continue," he told journalists on the sidelines of a conference on reducing disaster risks.

Some 90 per cent of disasters are of climatic origin, caused by storms, floods, drought or other extreme weather conditions, according to the UN's weather agency.

Holmes said some of the world's biggest cities housing millions of people were highly exposed to disasters, being located in coastal areas that would be threatened by rising sea levels, or in earthquake zones.

Read more at 'World's megacities ripe for 'megadisaster''


Thursday, June 18, 2009

GPS phones could spy on swine flu sufferers

Now here is a worrying development.... as health authorities in Japan think they might have the answer to tracking and blocking the spread of swine flu - keep an eye on the population through mobile phones!

The idea is to track every individual on their phone's global positioning system (GPS).

Then people can be warned if they have crossed paths with anyone diagnosed with a highly contagious illness.

Radio Australia's Connect Asia program reports the scheme is part of an initiative to promote new uses of internet and mobile technology.

It is funded by the Government and will be carried out by Softbank, a big internet and mobile phone provider.

Trials are due to start in a Japanese school in the next few months, but some people are concerned the technology will not be able to keep up with the mass of data to be collected.

Read original article - 'GPS phones could spy on swine flu sufferers'


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Virtual Smart Home Controlled By Your Thoughts

ScienceDaily has a post on how 'light switches, TV remote controls and even house keys could become a thing of the past thanks to brain-computer interface (BCI) technology being developed in Europe that lets users perform everyday tasks with thoughts alone'. The post continues by saying:

The technology, which was demonstrated at CeBIT in Hannover in March, provides an innovative way of controlling the interconnected electronic devices that will populate the smart homes of the future, granting increased autonomy to people with physical disabilities as well as pleasing TV channel-surfing couch potatoes.

“The BCI lets people turn on lights, change channels on the TV or open doors just by thinking about it,” explains Christoph Guger, the CEO of Austrian medical engineering company g.tec that developed the application.

ead more at - 'Virtual Smart Home Controlled By Your Thoughts'


Monday, June 01, 2009


Usman Haque has launched a terrific project called Pachube. It's a service for sharing and monitoring real time sensor data between remote buildings, devices, and environments, both physical and virtual. The idea is to facilitate remote interaction, open source home automation, sensor logging, environmental data visualisation etc.

See more at -