edevice

Personal Solar for Devices in the Backcountry

I don't go into the backcountry device-free. A smartphone, with backcountry GPS software, and a digital camera are always with me. Planning for an 11-day rafting/hiking trip through the Grand Canyon in April raised the issue of how to power my gear. I decided to go solar to minimize battery consumption. A February week in the Mojave desert (right) gave me a chance to sort out candidate devices and to configure a compact but workable system. Here are reports from the Mojave and Grand Canyon trips.

Conflict Minerals and the Hidden Cost of e-Devices

Our e-devices contain all sorts of exotic materials, many of which, like tungsten, tantalum, and tin, are refined from ores that originate in Central Africa. Called "conflict minerals", they fund warfare in the Congo and neighboring countries. More people are said have been killed here than any conflict since World War Two. Progress is being made, but legal setbacks and weak laws are slowing efforts. The latest critiicisms focus on proposed EU regulations.

Technologies for the Future of Green ICT

There is a rich global mix of advanced concepts and technologies emerging from research labs that may improve the future sustainability of ICT equipment and infrastructures. We regularly update this post with technologies of interest. (You can see all the technologies which hold the promise of greener ICT in the future by clicking the 'FutureTech' tag, above.) Our latest posts span research into biological agents that can recover gold from e-waste to multiferroic materials to reduce device waste heat.

Sustainable Healthcare

The healthcare, like most industries, has seen seen its electronic technologies become ICT technologies. Medical facilities are ICT facilities and much medical gear is ICT gear. That's consistent with our inclusive definition of Green ICT. Here are some industry initiatives having an impact:

What Is Attached to Our Global ICT Infrastructure?

How much gear is attached to the edges of our global ICT infrastructure? Our 2015 estimate is over 19 billion items. This up ~1 billion over 2013. The increase is driven by mobile and consumer media devices, but we are constantly adding new categories like wearable devices. We will update this table as new information comes in over the course of the year.

50 Billion Connected Devices by 2020?

We estimate that in 2014 that 19 billion devices were attached to our global ICT infrastructure. We recently saw an estimate of 50 billion for 2020. What would the path to 50 billion connected devices look like?

How Brown is the Cloud? Consumer Mega Datacenters Mixed on Renewable Energy

Mobile devices and web services are growing cloud computing at a dizzying pace. How clean are these clouds? We've been tracking this issue since 2010. Here are our latest updates.

ICT, Energy, and Japan's Earthquake/Tsunami

The Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011 and its tsunami had a huge impact on the country's ICT infrastructure, much of which is still being felt by businesses and consumers. Here is an update on the information and insights we have collected about data centers, communications networks, e-devices, and other ICT topics.

2013

Global consulting company Accenture announced in March 2013 that it "…has been awarded a contract to create the strategic plan to help develop the University of Aizu Revitalization Center. The plan includes construction of a technology lab on the university campus as well as support for projects focused on rebuilding Fukushima as a technology leader. Accenture’s plan calls for the lab design to begin this year, with construction expected to be completed in the spring of 2015. When completed, the lab will feature a next generation data center, an efficient, high-performance center that will consume about 40 percent less electricity than traditional data centers." Telecom Asia notes that "The Revitalization Center was established to aid recovery of the area following the [earthquake]." A September release from Accenture announces that the company has been awarded a contract work on the design the ICT laboratory, itself.

Mining E-Waste

Specialty metals recycler Umicore uses grams per tonne of gold to illustrate the potential for urban mining of e-waste.

Ore PC Circuit Boards Cell Phones
~5 g/t Au 200-250 g/t Au 300-350 g/t Au

Gear for Resilient ICT

Here we track gear for consumers and small businesses seeking ICT resiliency. This is a wide range of ICT-related gear suitable for areas or situations lacking reliable grid power. Our latest is a portable stove uses twigs for fuel to cook and to charge a smartphone.

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