30 Favorite Green Gadget and Tech Stories of 2011

We cover a ton of tech news all year long but some stories stand out. We're taking a moment to reminisce about the most interesting gadgets, green tech innovations, apps, concept designs and more from this past year. In no particular order, enjoy these headlines again, or for the first time:

Massive 6-Meter Globe Made of 10,362 OLED Panels, Offers Interactive Earth Experience

This is one very impressive display, and one we'd love to see in person!

"Magi-Cam" Uses Mirror-Covered Robot to Record Camera-Shy Animals

A brilliant way to get closer to animals, and it seems to really work too -- check out the video to see it in action.

The Spark Solar-Powered Charger for iPad Offers Speedy Charging

This case is one of the most interesting we've seen for off-grid charging for tablet devices.

iPhone Docks Made From Beautiful Vintage Books

We love this low-tech hack for high-tech devices, especially because the crafters use books destined to gather dust.

Wooden iPad Speaker is Electricity-Free for Off-Grid Partying

Again, super simple and low-tech. We love this balance to our gadget-centric lives.

© Samuel Wilkinson

The iPad-Controlled Biome Terrarium For Green Thumb Geeks

A way to slow down technology, which may seem counterintuitive but makes a lot of spiritual sense.

Solar Cells Can Now Be Printed on Anything, Even Paper and Fabric

Incredible progress out of MIT for putting solar cells everywhere.

Army of Tiny Robots to Monitor Underground Pipes for Radioactive Leaks

These orb-shaped robots could be the future of safety for pipe infrastructure.

Solar-Powered iPhone Case from Mobius Is A Good Back-Up Plan

One of our favorite solar iPhone cases from this year.

© Nest

iPod Creators Design The Perfect Thermostat That Learns Your Habits

The Nest is a revolutionary device for home energy efficiency, and we're guessing they'll be in homes all over the place in the very near future.

World's Most Efficient Flexible OLED Printed on Plastic

This is a great improvement for companies focused on flexible OLED devices, from cell phones to digital advertising displays.

Vibroy Portable Vibrating Speakers Use Everyday Objects to Blast Your Tunes

These speakers are a fun way to reuse old items and design your own musical devices.

© LuminAID

Inflatable Solar-Power Light Packs a Bright Punch

We love this amazing project and impressive design that brings light to distant places.

Erasable E-paper Can Be Printed, Erased, Reprinted Over 250 Times

Talk about reusable printer paper! This is an interesting development for paper-conscious offices.

Sat Chair Disguises Your Satellite Dish as Furniture

This smart design keeps the landlord off your back and eyesores away from your apartment.

Ingenious B-Squares Let You Create Your Own Modular Electronic Devices

This Kickstarter project took off like wildfire and it's no surprise why. The concept is brilliant.

Reprogrammable Chip Breakthrough Could Mean Instant Gadget Hardware Upgrades

Technology we can really get behind. Upgrading is far, far better than replacing!

Solar LED Lamp Is a Smart Solution for Portable Lighting

An interesting solution for lighting in rural areas, and one that takes a very compact form.

E-Ink Tablet Can Link to Other Devices, Be The School Book of the Future

A fascinating development as technology moves into classrooms.

Maker Faire 2011: Trash Amp Turns Junk Into "Ridiculously Loud" Speakers

One of our favorite gadget-y finds at Maker Faire this year.

Public Bench Tweets to Make Open Spaces More Social

It's an interesting design to make being in public even more social.

Futuristic Laptop Concept Features Solar Panel Cover, Charger

Not a year goes by without at least one design like this.

Lantern Concept Grows Sapling Trees While You Hike

It's odd, but adorable. And we have to love a gadget that grows trees.

PaperPhone Is Most Durable Smart Phone Ever, Made of Bendable E-Paper

Might this mean cell phones that are less likely to break?

Game Strap Makes Long, Uncomfortable Train Commutes More Entertaining

This might make public transportation even more appealing...if cities could find the funds to install them.

© James Dyson Award

Airdrop Design Pulls Water From Air to Irrigate Deserts

This winning device design could mean big things for future crops in dry areas.

DIY Skylights From Used Water Bottles Replace 50-Watt Bulbs

A really smart low-tech solution.

Trash-Sorting Robot Could Reduce Waste Going to Landfill by 50%

We're on our way to real life WALL-Es.

Revolutionary System for Reading Uses Optical Scanners, Is Battery-Free

Can you guess what it is?

$3 Emergency Solar-Powered Radio Made With an Altoids Tin

And this extraordinarily popular project is a gadget you can make yourself!

Tags: Gadgets

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