Smart cities, resource-efficient appliances, agricultural tools – there are over 4,500 exhibitors and 1,200 startups from 50 countries.
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019 is rightly billed as the world’s biggest technology conference, and there is always an impressive array of products and services driven by sustainability innovation.
Smart cities, resource-efficient appliances, agriculture – there are more than 4,500 exhibitors, and some 1,200 startups representing 50 different countries on tap at this year’s show, which runs through January 11 in the United States city of Las Vegas. So what’s to watch on the climate resilience front? Here are a few of the 2019 Innovation Award and Extreme Tech competitors:
Tetra Countertop Dishwasher
What if washing your dishes was as easy as watering the plants? That’s the idea behind a dishwasher that’s designed for the kitchen countertop. It doesn’t require plumbing because it works using its own water reservoir, to be filled each time it’s used. The Tetra washer easily handles a table setting for two, fragile wine glasses or baby bottles, and is so gentle it can be used to wash fresh fruit.
The designers at Heatworks say using the Tetra – which makes a complete washing run on less then four liters of water – compares with 10 times the amount used when washing by hand. A two-person household using the Tetra for one meal per day can expect to save more than 5,600 liters in a year.
The company’s mission isn’t just to change the way people use water but also how they heat it. Tetra relies on a system without heating elements, heats instantly and achieves 99 percent energy efficiency. It runs on electricity, so savings are more significant with renewable power sources.
The CES show always features the latest in medtech, but France’s Lifeina company has the potential to improve millions of lives with what’s billed as the world’s smallest refrigerator. It’s designed for people who depend on medications like insulin that have to stay cool, and is an idea born of the founder’s own experience with family travels. The tiny refrigerator relies on the Peltier effect: It cools using electrical current rather than any moving parts or chemical gases.
The point of the Paris-based company is to ensure that life-saving medications are protected, which is a challenge in much of the developing world. In fact, about five percent of the global population relies on refrigerated drugs, the company says. LifeinaBox is marketed to consumers who expect to travel or work on the road, but the technology may have wider applications.
Last of Ours
Based in Bangkok, Thailand, the Last of Ours startup is a Top 10 semi-finalist in the Extreme Tech Challenge and will compete at CES for the XTC prize, before a panel of judges headed by Sir Richard Branson. The wildlife protection startup affirms the “Nature Needs Half” principle, and relies on Blockchain for a system that attracts people who want to protect endangered species and connects them through gaming to have real-world impact.
“Living Animal Social Tokens (LAST) are created as digital representations of individual animals and distributed for use in social entertainment applications and games,” the company says. “Every unique token represents a real endangered animal living in the wild, one-to-one.” The tokens are collectible, and can be traded or used on various social entertainment platforms. Users can decide where their donations go – rhinos, rain forest – and see their impact while supporting conservation.