The 'Future of Green' at WIRED NextFest

Yesterday marked the close of the third annual WIRED NextFest. This year's event, held at the Javits Center in New York City, showcased numerous green technologies. GE, the event's Presenting Sponsor exhibited several green products at its Imagination Pavilion including: a hybrid locomotive, a 1.5 MW wind turbine, and a next generation jet engine. At the event's Transportation Pavilion, GM displayed flex-fuel vehicles, hybrids, and two fuel cell-powered concept cars. However, the event's green core was located at the Future of Green Pavilion. Among the numerous green products were: green building materials, solar technologies, small-scale wind turbines, and bags made from recycled plastic sacks. Although many of the technologies were impressive, two products designed by the Interactive Institute stuck out in my mind as being particularly unique and ingenious. The first was a lamp designed to promote energy awareness. Dubbed the Flower Lamp, this product opened and closed its metallic petals based on the overall energy consumption in a given household. The lamp will only open its petals when household energy consumption is low, therefore creating a constant reminder of electricity use. The second was a power strip called the Power-Aware Cord that lights up to indicate how much energy an appliance is consuming. The cord emits a blue glow that becomes more or less intense according to the amount of electricity flowing through it. In general, it was encouraging to see an emphasis on green technologies, and I look forward to the day when all these products become commonplace.