Green technology fights for the limelight at the CES gadget festival
At the CES technology super show in Las Vegas, it was unusual to see an entrepreneur holding a factory in his hand and presenting it as the latest breakthrough in consumer technology.
But for Patrick Torbey, co-founder of NeoPlants, the get-together is held every year right after the event. New Year should not be considered “only about mechanical and electronic technology.”
“It’s also about natural technology that we can leverage using these really amazing engineering techniques,” Torbey told AFP.
NeoPlants, a Paris-based startup, is showing off a biotechnologically engineered plant capable of purifying indoor air from harmful pollutants “by doing the job.” of 30 common houseplants,” according to their website.
Technology aimed at helping the environment has steadily increased in number at CES since the Sin City expo began 50 years ago.
But observers often question the seriousness of the consumer tech industry’s commitment to the environment, with all the excitement really centered around smart TVs and robots rather than lifesaving projects. more complex and less profitable.
“Until it really, really matters to consumers, this trend will stop here,” said Ben Arnold, consumer electronics analyst at research firm NPD.
“As a marketer, I’ve yet to see where (tech cares about the environment) makes a difference in terms of units and dollars,” he added.
Ran Roth, head of technology company Sensibo, agrees that successful devices are those that make financial sense and believes his product does just that.
The device Roth uses artificial intelligence and sensors for better management air machinean important concern in the often sweltering heat of Israel, where his company is based.
Sensibo sensors measure humidity and temperature, and use software that learns the user’s habits, saving energy and money.
Roth said new technology should have a “path to profitability” if it is to thrive, a frequent omission of so-called green tech that is often untenable.
“The good thing about smart thermostats is that they are readily available and offer the highest return on investment,” says Roth, who calls air conditioning a “human right.”
But as the climate emergency worsens, industry observers say big tech companies are coming under more pressure to commit to sustainability goals.
Abhijit Sunil of Forrester Research said: “We have seen the public naming and shaming of cleaning-enthusiastic organizations over the past year.
“So a lot of organizations are pretty careful in what they refer to as their sustainability initiatives and now they are as transparent as possible,” he said.
Sunil says that real progress on the environment has been seen in industrial fieldagreed that the consumer device business could be a step behind when it comes to doubling down on going green.
Design, manufacture and package products with an eye on corporate waste and carbon emissions Those are underwhelming when it comes to environmental technology, he said.
One such company, ACWA Robotics, won acclaim at CES for a robot that specializes in detecting and preventing water leaks in underground pipes.
In France, where the startup started, an estimated 20% of drinking water is lost due to leaking pipes.
ACWA Robotics engineer Elise Lengrand told AFP that fighting for the environment “is the challenge of a century”.
“I mean for sure it’s really cool to do big TVs and other things, but that’s what’s really important,” she said.
© 2023 AFP
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