While on my week long trip in Texas, I noticed a few examples of advances in technology. Just 8 years ago, I barely knew anybody who had a cell phone; now your mother, little sister, and nephew have cell phones. Ten years from now, kids will be unaware that CD players, corded telephones, and pagers even existed. Who knows what new innovations will be coming our way; but you never know. Switchgrass may very well be the primary source for producing ethanol instead of corn but only time will tell. The technological advancements I saw are as follows:
- Sensors in the frozen food aisle at Wal Mart
Now the normal overhead lights are always on while the store is in operation, but the lights inside where the frozen food sits only lights up as you walk through the given aisle. Wireless sensors placed throughout the entire aisle detect when people are present and preserve energy during the non-busy hours of the day. Such a simple idea saves a lot of energy and saves Wal Mart a bunch of money over the long run.
- Cell phone/Ipod chraging station at the Houston Hobby Airport
As I exiting out of one of the terminals at Houston Hobby, I noticed The Charge Cart kiosk near the restrooms that acted as a standalone charger for cell phones and Ipods. For only $3, you could get a 30-minute charge to charge your devices that you forgot to bring a charger for. Instead of desperately trying to find that Ipod charger in a place you are unfamiliar with, just pay $3 by credit card for a 50% “quick charge.” Various cell phone selections included Motorola, Kyocera, Samsung, Iphone, LG, Treo, Blackberry, and Nextel. This is good for convenience and for those forgetful people who go to the airport without everything they should be taking with them while traveling.
- I noticed two solar panels on the Copano Bay Fishing Pier as I was fishing for hardhead catfish, croakers, and pin fish. While two panels are not going to generate enough energy to power the lights for the pier at night, these panels were geared for research for a local Texas university. Solar has been generating a lot of interest as of late, especially with the increase cell efficiency in the panels, government subsidies, and oil at all an time high.
Kudos to Texas!!!