In this time-lapse series of photos, progressing from top to bottom, a coating of sucrose (ordinary sugar) over a wire made of carbon nanotubes is lit at the left end, and burns from one end to the other. As it heats the wire, it drives a wave of electrons along with it, thus converting the heat into electricity. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Safety and savings — those are the twin buzz words that are driving companies to create more breakthrough products that will help conserve the environment while lessening dependence on traditional sources of power. It is also a win-win situation for the consumer who wants to save on power bills while doing their share on taking care of the resources of planet Earth.

Non-toxic batteries

Leading the way is a group of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who removed the element of toxicity from the standard battery while doubling its capacity for power. Batteries are regarded as vital to all forms of industry because it make machines run, from smartphones to electric cars. However, one major drawback is that it is flammable and thus dangerous. That is why consumers get reminders every now and then from government and private companies alike on how to dispose of phone batteries properly.

Those days may be over, says this report from Newsday . MIT scientists discovered that batteries can be rendered non-toxic if one of its cylinder ends would be coated with an inflammable material, while the other end is heated. Power is also produced. The amount of energy created during the first experiments six years ago was negligible. Things have improved since then, and MIT says that the volume of power has soared a thousand times.

Network extender

The network extender from 5BARz International is another smart device that provides maximum efficiency while ensuring consumer safety. The network extender works to strengthen weak mobile signals to full five-bar power. With a single plug-and-play unit, it covers 4,000 square feet of space in any home or office, and easily accommodates 10 simultaneous users. Since the phone is not struggling to get coverage, the phone’s battery energy also gets conserved by as much as 80 percent. Further to no installation or set-up requirement, the network extender has been developed to find each consumers specific coverage or connectivity problem and optimise that consumer’s connection — all automatically.

While cellular booster kits may need frequent to occasional adjustments, the network extender requires none, even if rain or other environmental changes occur because it automatically adapts to maintain optimum performance, without any signal power oscillations. Similarly, the network extender will automatically shutdown with high received signal strength indicator (RSSI) levels, and when temperate range is exceeded. With this self-regulating, intelligent power management, the device knows how much power is used at any given time, depending on the strength of signal or lack thereof.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro

Ring Video Doorbell Pro may have redefined habits on hospitality with its Smart Doorbell. In a report, Android Headlines describes how the Smart Doorbell will record and then immediately notify the home owner every time there is any motion outside the door. A two-way speaker can also open the door for the guest and the owner to interact even before the door swings open. This communication can happen even if the home owner is not at home, which gives residents the opportunity to monitor the people who want to enter their premises in their absence. The Smart Doorbell consumes electricity on a manageable level—it doesn’t break the budget.

This same application can be extended to hotels, and not just homes. Hotel managers who want to monitor electric power consumption while ensuring the comfort of their guests can regulate the flow of power through a key card. According to the Daily Star, France’s Hager produces and manufactures this solution which is now being implemented by at least five hotels in Bangladesh. The article also mentions Allied Solar as a champion of power. It supplies the city with street lights run by electric batteries. Another environment-friendly company, Honeycom IT & Automation, designs its machines to conserve water by 40 percent, energy by 50 percent, and carbon emissions by 35 percent.

In shopping for appliances or gadgets, take time out to read the fine print or ask the store owner questions related to power sources and environment-friendly standards. By buying a smart, green product that saves you power cost, you show yourself to be a smart customer who can enjoy a healthy financial bottomline.