I have tried one of these at a green trade show – it’s a computer mouse made of cork.
That means biodegradable but more interestingly developers have seized on the idea that movement of the mouse can generate electricity. Precisely what the cork mouse from Inhabitat does. Kinaesthetically your hand movements are producing electricity, somewhat like the Kinetic watches that were big in the 1990s.
What role do gadgets like these have? Some argue these are mere fashion statements – they are half right.
A cork mouse may well be a trendy stocking filler but it does send a statement out about how electricity is produced and how we might conserve it.
I do share the view that we cannot allow green technology to remain a niche market, and to some extent gadgets such as mouses made of cork do perpetuate the fanciful rather than the functional.
Yet if we are to re-think the concept of energy then where better than through an object most of us are using every day. The technical scope of cork is limited, Portugal should not be holding its breathe that cork exports might just save the planet. Yet the scope for changing attitudes is infinite. The next invention in electricity generation will come from he or she who took inspiration from little eccentricities such as these.
I’m struck by what else we might be able to use to generate electricity, already I am thinking of the power in using technology around us for a green purpose.
Blackle, in fact, is an example in itself. Search engines already exist, but drawing attention to energy conservation via search technology is a good use of existing technology. The cork mouse, in its one sweet way, is a further example of building on that dynamic. The developers don’t say whether this mouse has a wheel, but surely a wheel would be more suitable for a hamster, not a mouse.
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