The 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, the yearly gathering in Las Vegas put on by the Consumer Electronics Association and its member network of consumer electronics manufacturers, wrapped yesterday. There were all the usual sort of big product announcements, be it state of the art televisions, tablet computers or advanced smartphones. We were there, however, to find the green technology among all the clutter and we came away not too disappointed.
Though there was a lack of blockbuster announcements around green tech this year, several interesting trends emerged from related products and services that were showcased. Connected appliances which help manage energy through smart grid style features, other home energy management tools, electric vehicles, energy efficient home electronics and a plethora of devices sprouting solar panels were all on display.
Take a tour with us over the next several pages as we showcase the more interesting things we found while roaming the CES 2011 booths.
The Connected Home
We’ve talked a lot before about home energy management tools and the smart grid. CES 2011 marked one of the first times the CE industry looks to have embraced this with some gusto. The likes of GE, Toshiba, Samsung, Panasonic and LG – all major players in the consumer electronics space – were showing off in some fashion or another connected devices and smart grid technologies which let your appliances, you and your utilities work together to better manage energy.
The one presenting the most unified solution was GE, who took considerable time to showcase to us their envisioned solution for a connected home of tomorrow today. The core of their system is Nucleus, an eco-system of tools and software that talk to smart grid enabled appliances, smart plugs around your home and your utility through a smart meter to manage energy load and hopefully help you save money on your power bill.
GE’s booth brought together everything from a new wind turbine for residential use (though given the size of it we don’t see it fitting in on top of a lot of typical urban dwellings) to WattStation, the company’s Yves Behar designed electric vehicle charging station (which, incidentally, can be tied into the Nucleus system).
Over at Panasonic, meanwhile, was a dedicated corner focused on environmental products and services. This particular CE manufacturer perhaps has been the most vocal in moving towards greener technologies, and was busy displaying a home energy management system, solar panels, fuel cells for the home, renewable energy storage units and more. They even have their own branded EV charging station.