Sony has unveiled a brave collection of concept devices that never need recharging. The 'Odo' concepts are as good-looking as they are exciting, which is important if they are to ever be produced, and sell well. Although we have seen wind-up torches and radios before, there have not been any aesthetically pleasing, practical concepts for more advanced devices. That's what makes this announcement so ambitious; the devices include digital cameras and an image/movie viewer, things that drain a lot of power in comparison to an analogue radio.
The Spin 'N' Snap camera, shown above, is particularly interesting. You put a finger through each hole, and spin the whole device around its centre. This turns a dynamo and creates the power to take the next photo. It's an odd echo from old, film cameras, which I only just remember, where you had to manually wind-on the film. I can really see this being enormously popular amongst a certain demographic, and the ability to have a camera on you that is always good to go, and never runs out of power, will be appealing to many.Another device in the range is the Push POWER Play device, which is either an image or movie viewer (I can't be sure because the Google-translated site is almost unreadable). What is clear is that there is a roller on the bottom, which generates power as you drag it across the table. There is also a solar panel in the range, which could presumably power the devices if there is ample sunlight.
The release also claims that the devices are all made of recycled plastic, so their construction, as well as operation, will be as environmentally friendly as possible. I'm not sure where exactly this falls on the scale from inevitable product to wild concept, but a digital camera without a screen, and with a minimum of advanced processing functions, could run from a hand-crank. You may have to wind it before every picture, but we had to do that 20 years ago, so it won't kill you. If Sony can make these, then they definitely should, because it's a damn good idea and they would sell like hotcakes. :: Impress :: Engadget