It’s official – blue is the new ‘green’. Recently Samsung have been proudly touting their ‘eco-credible’ cellphone, the Samsung Blue Earth. The phone itself has not yet been released, but already it has people talking, and for good reason.
It’s not just the fact that this new touch phone is made from recycled plastic bottles that makes it stand out from the crowd. I would hazard a guess that the reverse of the touch phone screen is what is really getting people talking. You see, the Samsung Blue Earth comes fitted with a solar charging panel. The panel reduces (but not eradicates) the need to plug the phone in to recharge the battery, thereby reducing the phone’s energy consumption.
After just ten minutes of charging, the integrated solar panels can supply enough energy for a 3-minute call. Ok, so overall on an individual basis this might save a fairly trivial amount of energy. But what if all cellphone users switched to cellphones with integrated solar panels? Consider if all handsets were gradually replaced with predominantly solar-charged cell phones, and those phones were not continually being plugged into the mains to be recharged. I think it’s a fantastically important step towards a more sustainable way of living.
I mean, it’s not as if thousands upon millions of people are going to give up using their cellphones. They’re just far too integrated into modern society. Sure, there are people who happily live life without their phones. And equally, I’m sure there are a many people who would happily throw away their phones, Blackberries and PDAs in search of a quieter, less interrupted life. But the fact is that cellphones are here to stay. Whether we’re socialising, doing business, recording an event or a moment in time, or just making ourselves available, the cellphone has become a ‘must-have’. In fact, for many a cellphone is more like a ‘must never be without’.
I remember a time when cell phones were virtually non-existent in mainstream society. But I imagine for my generation of 20somethings, life without a cell phone would somehow feel more rigid and less interactive. I’m no technophile by any stretch of the imagination, but I like the security and the readiness that a cellphone brings. And if I don’t feel like being available, I just switch it off. Nice and easy.
If I buy a phone, I intend to keep it for a few years – essentially as long as I can take and receive calls, send text messages, store pictures, films and sound, I’m OK. The iPhone or Blackberry and all their gadgetry haven’t succeeded in seducing me – but admittedly, this has been mainly for budgetary reasons more than anything else.
But in a typical eco-geeklet kind of way, the Samsung phone has got me genuinely excited. By the time I’m ready to upgrade to my next cellphone, who knows how far this kind of ‘green technology’ could have developed? I might be able to make longer calls harnessed on solar energy alone, or send and receive purely solar-powered text messages. And, unlike me, if you’re into your phone applications and features, Samsung have added a few extras that will have you ‘squeeing’ with delight, such as an eco-walk calculator feature. The interface can also be darkened or lightened, according to ambient light or the need to save energy.
And to top it all off, the actual cellphone looks good. It genuinely looks like a nice bit of kit. What do you think?
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