The Greener Gadgets conference just took place in NYC this past week and popular mechanics was there to talk about the cool gadgets on display there. There is a pretty nifty solar tent from the U.K. and a whole array of other nifty gadgets.
One of the more popular items however is a human powered cell phone charger in India for people that are off the grid, as most of the country is in fact. Ahh, the global attitudes towards the United States are sometimes amazing to the guys at gadgetlounge when, for example, in this instance, the United States invented cell phones. As far back as 1907 there was a U.S. patent involving radio transmissions on telephone calls, later better perfected by the venerable Bell Labs in the 1940′s. In fact the most powerful support for the growth in “emerging markets” or “third world countries” is cheap communications provided by cell phones.
What are some of the other ones? The internet, the personal computer . . . those are pretty big ones as well. Ahh yes, they were also originated by U.S. technology and know-how. Also, known as good ole Yankee Ingenuity. Bell Labs is a shell of its former self, given the break up of the Ma Bell and its monopoly, but wow did they create some amazing things. They’ve still got some funding, but it isn’t what it used to be. DARPA is a U.S. government entity that has pushed the envelope a lot as well. In any case, this is a total sidebar from the Greener Gadgets Conference, but sometimes we like to bring up the macro picture that people forget or never knew.