Lighter Shades of Green…

Had an interesting conversation with a reporter earlier this week on the topic of “green tech.”  Green tech has always been one of those loosely defined segments of consumer tech.  Many want to box it concretely – but increasingly green is a story of relativism instead of absoluteness. Many (dare I say most) consumer electronics products today have lighter shades of green.  Their singular or primary purpose might not be to lower one’s carbon footprint, but by providing a unique service or offering they might indirectly also provide environmentally beneficial results.

For example, in an increasingly mobile-centric world, consumers want longer battery life.  Longer battery life should result in less frequent charging.  I’ve always been a fan of ThinkEco’s Modlet. It is a simple device allowing users to monitor device energy consumption and adjust that consumption to match the actual use of the underlying device.  For example, if you find you are only using a coffee maker from 6AM-9AM you can use the Modlet to turn off the coffee maker during non-use hours. At Google’s I/O conference earlier this month, Google showed ways of interfacing light bulbs with Android devices (part of their Android@home initiatives). Here again, control begets environmental benefits.

There will continue to be pure-play green tech devices, but I believe what I’m calling this lighter shades of green trend will amplify in the coming years.