Last autumn I visited a venue called the Ice Tank, it was for a presentation from a company based in Germany that has a product to efficiently control your central heating, it even knows when the last person leaves or the first arrives back at your home.
This big brother scenario might sound rather frightening but for a home where people work different hours this can save a good deal of money so you do not end up heating an empty home. A bold statement was made during the presentation that they could control any heating system however old. I know my gas boiler is at least 50 years and its controller probably of the same vintage. So I agreed to test it out. Everything can be done from their website.
Yes the Hong Kong USB kings have produced a small real fish aquarium but of course it does much more. Second a small phone and other portable devices charger that uses solar power to provide the power to charge.
This unit is a small real tank but it is likely that most will use it for effect and the other features of clock and thermometer. It is 24x10x21cm, all the non fish activity is on the right side with the clock display, light and the water pump. The mini USB to USB lead is 80cm long. The aquarium part comes with pebbles and even some plastic greenery. There is a six LED light on toughened wire that allows it to be suspended either above the aquarium of to shine elsewhere even towards the clock.
This device can check what, how and when causes the astronomical electricity bill. Every modern device tells you somewhere how much power it uses, unfortunately normally few people tend to initially take much notice.
The Owl CM119 consists of two parts, the first magnetically wraps round a wire from your meter this ends in a wireless sender (powered by 3x‘AA’ batteries supplied). The wireless signal is sent the second unit that displays a range of information this can be up to 30metres (ideal conditions) away and this is also powered by 3x‘AA’ batteries (also supplied).
Some great toys from ECOutlet the online store for eco-friendly items. We checked out some fab environmentally friendly toys.
You know the old one - when you buy a kid a present, they invariably play more with the cardboard box. Here's a company that's making the most out of that maxim - ECOutlet. ECOutlet help us to feel a bit better about our purchases by giving us environmental choices, with everything from books to toys and cycling to garden accessories as well as laundry and cleaning products. This is a great place to look for presents with that Eco-touch.
sometimes wonder whether you need to have had at least one dead battery episode for a mobile device before you really qualify for being a road warrior.
A favourite ploy used by script writers to create a situation ripe for all eventualities (horror, comedy, drama, romcom etc) is a dead battery for a mobile device. I’m sure you can remember at least one story, whether portrayed on film or television, that has made use of this particular gambit.
Sometimes a products title gives you an excellent idea as to its functionality. However I am not sure this particular product falls into this category.
Trends, whether they are fashion-based or of a more environmental orientation and social awareness, tend to come and go over time. Currently the trend is to emphasise the importance of implementing a Green approach especially with regards to power consumption. Add into the mix the demands made by various portable devices and you have the rationale behind the rather unusually named powermonkey-eXplorer product. Developed by Powertraveller Ltd.
Using resources that are renewable is advice we could all follow. Unfortunately sometimes the required resource is not always available.
Reviewing kit, of whatever type (software, hardware, toys, kitchen equipment, etc.), can sometimes involve the need for additional resources. For example to test a printer you will need plenty of paper; a flight simulator product cries out for a joystick as the preferred method of control; while electronic toys often arriving bearing the “Batteries not included” warning. Generally supplying these resources is well within the scope of this reviewer.
If like our house you have remote controls coming out of your ears, but never the right one then
this little box could be just the thing for you. As well as controlling up to four separate devices
it will also completely power them down - saving you money, batteries and the world resources.
The URC-8350 is a fairly standard sized 'traditional' remote control unit measuring 210 x 55 x 30mm (HxWxD). Power is provided by two AAA batteries. As well as the remote the product is provided with an on/off power plug (HC-8000). Simply insert this into a wall socket, and the connect all your A/V equipment through that plug via a power strip. The remote then allows you to completely remove power from all those devices - reducing the standby requirement to zero.
First an Energy Reducing Kettle and then a power saver device Audio Visual Standby. This is the third of my reviews from the Marks & Spencer Christmas In July event. The first two were of reasonably priced useful items, here I am less sure.
Is it just me but for many years I have added just the amount of water I want to the kettle not just for the point of view of saving the cost of electricity (a great deal more now than previously) but also for the fact it takes far less time to boil. The Marks & Spencer energy reducing kettle claims that it increases the efficiency of your kettle by up to 31%.
An eco friendly hairdryer that is great value, will save you money on electricity, dry your hair fast and give you a smoother than normal finish - unbelieveable but true!
The Babyliss Eco Dry is a lightweight hair dryer that saves you half the energy of a normal 2000W hair dryer. I love being impressed by the products I review - and much to my surprise this one did. Whilst you might normally associate a powerful hair dryer with weight, this one is incredibly light. I was equally surprised by just how much power comes out of this neat hair dryer with quite a blast.
This lovely looking kettle from Kenwood has been designed to give up to 35% energy savings over standard design kettles.
The Kenwood Energy Sense kettle has a clear body and comes with either a polished metal or white base, handle and lid. It looks stylish and is lightweight. The Eco friendly design incorporates an improved element technology designed to improve the energy rating. I trialled this up against our regular kettle and found that it used around 10% less energy as measured by and boiled around 9 seconds quicker.
Boiling a cup of water is quicker than boiling a full kettle so saving on time and energy consumption. That's the idea behind the Tefal Quick Cup.
Saving energy is important for both conservation issues and, especially with the ever-increasing spiral of rising costs, financial concerns. Arriving with accreditation from the Energy Saving Trust, the Tefal Quick Cup product offers to help by delivering a significant reduction in energy consumption when compared against that of the average kettle.
While most photo frames are larger maybe there is a place for a smaller one. Secondly a solar mobile phone charger that can hold enough charge for two complete charges of almost any mobile phone.
This is a unit from Cenomax. Mine was cream in colour with a reflective surround to the viewable area. It is 9.5x7.5x1.3cm. The actual screen is 7x5.4cm giving the notional 3.5inch diagonal measurement. It has a rechargeable battery but even though the charge method is USB no PC is required as the lead goes to a special 13amp plug so all that is required to recharge it is a mains socket.
First certainly the smallest thing I have ever reviewed, something for those of us with older notebooks without Bluetooth. Second higher power rechargeable batteries and multi charger from Energizer.
MoGo Laptop Compact Bluetooth USB Adapter I would certainly not advise sneezing near this tiny device or it could easily get lost. My electronic kitchen scales failed to register when I put it on them and they happily weigh as little as a single gram. It is 2cm long but only 1cm of this will protrude once inserted into a USB port. It is a maximum of 1.5cm wide and slightly concave so you can grip it should you ever want to remove it.
Rechargeable batteries have huge advantages over their disposable counterparts, but you
do need to be able to charge them!
Uniross are now a very well known brand both for NiMh batteries and for the chargers you need to keep them operating. The range of chargers available from Uniross itself can be fairly bewildering. In this review I'm looking at their latest fast charger. The charger is packaged with 4x2700mAh AA size batteries - the highest capacity we've seen available.
We all want to do our bit for the environment - but it pays to ask questions and not accept
manufacturers claims at face value. Here we look at the FreeLoader that offers to power your gadgets
for free using the power of the sun. How does it measure up? You may be surprised!
Information on the FreeLoader arrived through the GadgetSpeak letter box a while
before Christmas and was followed up by a phone call - and then a duly delivered sample for review.
We're all aware of the impact of carbon dioxide on the environment causing global warming,
climate change, flooding and worse is to come. We can reduce that impact by reigning in the release of CO2
into the atmosphere. The boffins are looking at some very clever ways of doing that, but in practice this
means using less energy! As we enter "Energy Saving Week" we're looking at a little gadget that
may help you change your energy burning habits.
Dubbed 'The OWL' this device comes in two parts - a sensor unit and a large display unit. It allows you to wirelessly monitor your households electrical energy consumption. The argument being that if you can how much energy you're using you're more inclined to do something about it. The sensor is very simply installed around the incoming live mains supply just before your fuse box (or consumer unit).