Daydream or Wild Fantasy, But Still a Good Idea
Productive Product: Sometimes technology ideas are so good and so obvious that we don't even dare to suggest them, for fear of being rebuffed with a sarcastic, "Yeah, right!" An example is the idea that all of life's gadgets could connect to a single universal power supply -- no more jumble of cords beneath our desks and no more drawer full of old, unlabeled, useless wall-warts. Go ahead: "Yeah, right!" A startup, GreenPlug, sees it different. They have the audacious goal to preach a future of universal power hubs into which all your gadgets would plug. They also power supplies built with their technology would have microcontroller brains, so for example, users could set when devices should charge. It doesn't sound that much better than ordinary universal power adapters -- intelligent trickle-charge mode is nothing new -- but maybe you'd no longer need a variety of different metal tips. Anyway, GreenPlug doesn't yet have any news other than "we're here", there are a few possible gotchas such as heat dissipation, and don't forget that traditional power supplies are a lucrative business not likely to change. (Share your comments below, and read more about green-tech news at this week's CES. Also, check out this green design conference in New York.) Note: external links open in new windows.