Nokia Phone charging with body heat

Nokia has been working with technologies that are really well different, when the Apples and Androids are innovating in trying to find different ways to be able to make our Mobile Phone experiences interesting, Nokia the world’s largest Mobile Phone Manufacturer seems to have different ideas when it comes to Mobile Phone Innovation.

I have written about similar innovations that are mostly from Nokia, dealing with trying to make a mobile phone work without really being powered, and here are some of their earlier attempts.

There are more than just Nokia working on solutions like this, like Indian Innovators who are really trying to make a mark on the renewable energy for Mobile Phones like

So after  some crazy inventions like the ones mentioned above, its at last back to what we wanted to actually talk about today, Mobile Phones powered with body heat. Charging your new phone might just be a as simple as dropping it in your pocket. Now with a future like that we might never have “The Phone Ran out of Juice” stories when that person dodging your call give the same BS.

That’s the promise of the Nokia E-Cu concept phone, developed by British designer Patrick Hyland. Hyland’s Nokia E-Cu (E for environment, Cu for Copper) phone features a copper exterior and a thermogenerator integrated interior that converts heat energy into electric energy.

Theoretically, the phone could be charged on any hot surface–from a radiator to a pants pocket. But as we previously mentioned, the phone is still a concept – and we’ll probably see ideas like the piezoelectric power make its way into future cell phones before Nokia’s idea. However, we certainly look forward to the day when our body warmth alone can juice up our electronics!

Save the Tiger – Augmented Reality Campaign

One of the most fascinating and magnificent cats of all of the animal kingdom is the Tiger. However, we all know that this beautiful beast is on the verge of getting pushed into the extremely endangered species list. Tigers world wide are facing precarious conditions when it come to basic survival. In this effect it was quite apt when NDTV and Aircel in India launched an awesome campaign to try and save the tiger. We have gone down to only 1411 tigers in the country and no amount of campaigns and public support is enough to bring this species back.

What was even more saddening was a friend of mine had an opportunity to visit a home of someone high up the social ladder in UAE; the person was also a UAE national who had immense wealth.  Interestingly, the person had along with his collection of gazillion expensive cars, and other collectibles; Indian Tigers, both white and the normal ones, a few lions, some hippos and even some alligators. My first reaction was this is depressing, then I thought that they are at least keeping these beasts safe. My next reaction was also that of depression thinking what has the world come to, if tigers need to be caged in other countries to keep them safe from us. Not to mention that its really utterly and completely wrong.

I started looking at the campaigns of “Save the Tiger” and although there has been a lot of progress with a lot of people signing up to getting up  and doing something for the campaign, it was imperative that the feeling of loosing these tigers be bought to the foreground. They worked on amazing commercials which were aired on TV, but still had that one element missing. The efforts need to be absolutely increased, these ads are just not enough. Have a look at some of them here below :

So after the campaign in India, I thought it might be worthwhile checking out the other efforts. And I stumbled on the second campaign this time with the cousin of the Indian Tiger, the Siberian Tiger. The campaign of the Siberian Tiger went to technology to be able to achieve the punch factor in the campaigns, not only have they made the campaign interesting but also really powerful, with the power of guerrilla marketing. And we all know how good the guerrilla marketing techniques work.

Trying to make a point, the WWF Tiger T-Shirt shows what it is to be hunted down by poachers like the Siberian tiger. Incredibly graphic, it relies on an augmented reality to show you what it would be like to be shot. Reaching to Augmented Reality to achieve the effect, the campaigners provided T-Shirts to a lot of people which triggerd a shooting animation (complete with blood) when worn in front of a special mirror.  The campaign was launched with collaboration of WWF and Check out the website at

I think we need to start looking at bringing this campaign to India.

The Middle east beginning to shake off its Oily Image

About 40 years ago the OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) was born and the Middle Eastern countries really started raking in money from the oil that people had found in the previous 40 years. Ever since, countries have looked at the Middle Eastern nations for their massive demand of Oil and Oil products. The Image of Rich spoilt boys from Oil money roaming around the streets with Rolls Royce and Lamborghini’s was formed by all the expatriates in these countries who came looking for some of it.

The image of the middle east has been completely marked with Oil money and expansive behaviours, so much so that nations in the middle east used that OIL money to bring in more people from around the world to live in their nations, and in the process make the desert a place to have millions of people, all in all increasing their carbon footprints. As a matter of fact the United Arab Emirates where I live supposedly has the largest carbon footprint of all the nations in the world per person.

So much about the dark side, the brighter side is that the baby boomer generation in these countries are coming into decision making places and they are making the right decisions in changing the image of the middle east in general. From Abu Dhabi’s most talked about Masdar project which I had the fortune to work on (A small part) right up until visionary projects all across the middle east that are in the pipeling and will change the future of the Middle east from an Oil Powered nations to renewable energy nations.


For all those guys who would like to see proof here are some of the projects that are in progress in the Middle east that will really make a difference .. soon :


The world’s first city that aims at negative carbon emission is one of the most awesome entries in this list. Masdar, in Abu Dhabi has the potential to not only show was to the rest of the Middle East and the World, but also with its initiatives like the Masdar University and Sheikh Zayed Future Energy Prize they might just give gems of renewable energy as well as sustainability lessons to the world.

Desertec / Dii

Dii is a unique private industry joint venture that was launched as the ‘Desertec Industrial Initiative’ in July 2009. Desertec / Dii  activities focus on power generation from the sun and wind in the deserts of the MENA countries and transmission to local demand and partly to the European interconnected grid. Dii will objectively investigate and identify suitable technologies for power generation and transmission. As a consequence, all field-proven, feasible technologies for sun and wind energy conversion and long-distance power transmission will be candidates for selection. This would for instance include CSP and PV technologies, AC and DC transmission and also different concepts for wind power. Dii aim at facilitating and encouraging investments in the framework of the Desertec concept, including knowledge transfer to the MENA area and the establishment of local industries.

Algerian SonelGaz

The Algerian government had decided instead to develop its own flagship solar project. Algeria will do more with solar and expects to make a new town which is completely [powered by] solar electricity. To this end, the state-owned gas and power utility Sonelgaz would install 365 megawatts of solar power capacity between 2013 and 2020. The company planned to install the first 10mw of solar capacity in 2013 and to increase that to 50mw the following year. Sonelgaz planned to spend US$3.3 billion (Dh12.11bn) this year on expanding Algeria’s total power generation capacity and gas distribution network in order to ease energy shortages during peak demand periods.

Bharain Wind-Solar Pilot Power Project

Bahrain will announce next month the winner of a contract to advise on a pilot renewable energy power plant for the kingdom. As well as advising on the pilot project, the selected bider will conduct a feasibility and assessment study for renewable energy technology in Bahrain. The pilot facility is aimed at practical research to further the development of commercial projects. It is expected to be a hybrid wind and solar plant and it will be located on an island.

Millennium Energy Company in Jordan

Millennium Energy Industries, the Jordanian renewable energy developer, has taken the first step towards realising one of three solar projects planned for the Maan Development Area in Jordan’s southern desert. It has teamed up with the US engineering firm CH2M Hill to launch a feasibility study for a utility-scale concentrating solar power plant (CSP) proposed for the Maan Industrial Estate. The study would be funded by the US Trade Development Agency and would address the plant’s technical and economic viability, the companies said. It would also define an implementation strategy in partnership with Jordan’s government and other organisations. Although the technology has been proved on a commercial scale, only 679 megawatts of capacity had been installed worldwide last year, but  another 2,000mw was under construction. Not much of that was in Jordan, or anywhere else within the Middle East.

Last Word

Being in a position to not only produce for the local market but also export technology and knowhow is going to be the next Oil race. So, the renewable energy seems to be the correct direction to go for the Middle East Oil Giants. Interestingly, this is might be a renewal of the Middle East into nations that might just help the world rather than kill it with the carbon footprints.

Made in China now cutting edge – Fully Solar powered AC

There used to be a time when Made in China used to be treated as a curse than a good thing, having said that Manufacturers still flocked to China due to its low production costs, low labour costs and an industry friendly government. The Government in China provided so many avenues for the manufacturers and industries that people will still flock there despite any bad image the cheaper Chinese products will have to offer.  I guess being on a high profile project in the Middle East, the shift is quite certainly visible. On the Project that I am working on, the guidelines of the client are clear about the country of origin, manufacturers only from North America, Western Europe, Japan are allowed to provide products for the project.

However, in the last three years it is getting increasingly difficult to find reputed manufacturers that still procure, manufacture and ship their products from the mentioned countries. Almost all of them seem to have some part of the process in China. So much so, that companies like CISCO do not produce some key products in the United States, they are manufactured in China or Mexico. The centres of the world are changing. Adding to the woes of my client, new cutting edge technology is now coming out of China and that might not be available anywhere else in the world, like this, the Fully Solar Powered Air Conditioning.

For anyone that lives in a country with a warm climate, air conditioning is an essential piece of technology making the most stuffy home or office comfortable to work in. Unfortunately powering such units often causes large energy bills for consumers and companies and generates a sizable carbon footprint. Not cool! Luckily, China, who is rapidly becoming the world’s leader in renewable energy development and knows all about warmer summers and freezing winters, has just unveiled the world’s first air conditioned unit powered by solar energy.

Developed by a company called Shandong Vicot Air Conditioning Co., Ltd, the solar powered air-con unit could save companies and home owners not only masses of money but also reduce their carbon emissions, and we all know that China needs the later more, after the fogs during the Olympic Games.  Showcased at the World Solar-Powered Air Conditioning Development Forum, the solar-powered air conditioning unit boasts an optimal 85% thermal cooling conversion efficiency, with an ability to utilize to 27 times the amount of solar power than the average water heating unit uses. The Shandong Vicot Air Conditioning unit also allows for 24-hour continuous cooling, heating, and supply of hot water, while natural gas can be used as a supplemental energy supply, so during periods of poor sunshine, heating and cooling can still be provided. This should be quite rare however as in terms of solar power.

India also has a similar geographic and can benefit from this Solar marvel. The biggest place it will make an impact is most certainly the middle east. Since I just read that people in the UAE have the highest carbon footprint in the world.


New Seats in Airlines to increase seating capacity by 25%

How many of us complain about the seating in the Aircraft’s, Most of us ? Some of Us ? None of Us ? My guess would have to be most of us, and being tall like I am does not help the cause as well. I keep wondering, Aircraft manufacturers seem to be building bigger and better aircraft’s trying to provide that additional comfort for passengers, but airlines seem to be making the spacing between seats smaller to make more passengers fit in the same aircraft thus increasing profit and lowering costs.

This is definitely the case with most Budget airlines and with Emirates.  I cannot imagine travelling half way around the world on an Emirates airline flight, sitting 16 hours in a cramped space defiantly is going to cause a lot of discomfort especially for me. Business class, well I am not yet there, to be able to fly business class all the time. Anyway, the trend in the Airline industry in general seems to be trying to cramp as many guys in the same flight as possible. Even to the extent that some airlines have started offering standing room only tickets. I am sure those can be applicable only for short flights. But if one Italian Design firm has its way we could be having one extra person for every 4 passengers on our existing flights.

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India first victim of Global Warming ?

We technically I should say India – Bangladesh. Global Warming, one of the symptoms of which is rising water levels. Water levels rising is an issue of concern for mostly islands and India does have a fair few. Island nations like Mauritius and Maldives are on the forefront of the fight against global warming. And a lot needs to be done to “save the world” from this BIG problem. In what seems to be a preview of things to come, Moore Island off the coast of India has just disappeared off the face of the planet.

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The fate of your gadgets when you dispose them

Considering that the Cell Phone, computer, Television, radio etc have been around for over a decade, it’s no surprise that a lot of people in the developed countries actually have gone through more than one of these gadgets. In countries like India, the older electronics either go as hand me downs to your relative or are sold off to someone else looking for them for cheap. However, eventually they end up somewhere in the dump. In more economically advanced countries, the cycle from being a new gadget to the dump is fairly quick. And this is something that is becoming a growing concern for countries.

For the west it seems to be an issue with trying to properly dispose off of these gadgets, for the east the issue seems to be straight off something of managing the garbage of the east. Meaning, the west is transporting all their electronic waste to countries like India and China. The new addition to these seem to be Africa. Africa is fast growing as the dump site of the world, where cars, electronics or any unusable goods seem to be going to. Why is this such a big problem ? You have to see it for yourself. In today’s Post I want to highlight the problems that people in these countries are facing mainly India / China and many in Africa like Ghana.

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India Report Card for Technology 2010

First things first, A very Happy Independence Day to all the Indians, and to our neighbors Pakistan as well. It’s the Independence Day today, and really all the focus seems to be in all the wrong areas, like every year, the media is picking up the bad in the country to highlight on this day. From Terrorism, corruption, Maoists, Bandhs, CWG Vs Food, Bollywood, IPL Scandals, Babus, all the flaws of India are being highlighted. I am sure as a child, if you were to point out his/her faults on his/her birthday, I am sure the child would not be really happy, and would be damaged for life. Then why is it that we are doing it to our country  ?? Anyway, for this Independence Day, like the Republic Day in January, I would like to prepare a report card for the technology sector in the country. Of course it is the most shining one and the one sector where it does look India is shining and moving ahead.

First of all If you did not manage to read the report card during the Republic Day, here are the links :

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After Sharjah Blackouts, are Dubai and Abu Dhabi far behind ?

It is one of the biggest issues worldwide, electricity shortage. There are parts of India that have had these issues for a very long time. I remember Mangalore used to be without electricity for close to 8 – 10 hours a day. However, I have never really faced it here in Dubai, there was never a day without electricity. Oh wait there was this blackout in Jul 2005, I remember but for a few hours, caused a whole load of chaos. But otherwise there has not really been an issue with electricity.

Off late, Sharjah, the neighboring emirate to Dubai has had major issues with the blackouts, there have been major complaints from the residents that this blackout during the summer time is really bad. With the financial situation in the region and the country in general being difficult how is this going to effect Dubai and Abu Dhabi; the two biggest emirates with Sharjah. Dubai in general seems to be the place with the biggest issues out of the two.

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India Innovation – Rice Husk powered Electricity

I am back praising the country for Innovation, this time its one of my favourite future fields, Alternative sources of Power Generation. A Start up from Bihar has come up with s solution for generating power from Rice Husk. Like they say Necessity is the mother of all invention, and availability is the father. This start Up has taken the problem of Indian farmers i.e no electricity and decided to solve it with the locally available source, Rice Husk.

An Indian company called Husk Power Systems is bringing electricity to some of the most rural parts of India by using rice husks as fuel. Rice husk is a by-product of the rice growing process and is generally dumped into landfills, but by using it to build miniature, off-grid power stations, they generate electricity for around 500 households for 8 to 10 hours a day per each power plant that requires just 3 employees to operate and maintain. The company has set up 25 of these eco-friendly plants till now that serve around 50,000 villagers. Husk Power Systems has received numerous accolades for their miniature power plants including a nomination at the finals of BBC’s World Challenge prize.

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Power from you to your gadgets

One of the most important thing that plagues the new society is gadgets of all shapes and sizes. Gadgets, that well require juice in their batteries to work. The problem with batteries would be that charging the batteries would still take some power from the grid. Now if it was the matrix, we could plug our bodies that generate 250 Btu/Hr (while sleeping and 400 Btu/Hr when awake), and convert that to energy to get rid of our dependence from the grid power. Unfortunately, we are not in the matrix and currently most of us still are plugged into the grid to power our devices.

The next revolution in electronics and personal computing would definitely come by with devices that are going to be powered out of something as simple as solar cells on our body, like the helmet that two Indian Engineering students came up with, or using the body heat that we generate or just using kinetic energy that we produce by moving, like the Eco Drive watch range form Citizen which is now getting duplicated by mostly all manufacturers.

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