Air Umbrella Could Be a Reality by 2015 – But is That a Good Thing?

October 16, 2014 by  
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In the history of pointless devices, the air umbrella has to be among one of the foremost and it could soon be a reality. According to Core77 , the invisible umbrella concept – which uses forced air to repel falling water – was created by U.K. industrial design student, Quentin DeBaene , and the concept generated plenty of interest when it was introduced last year as a submission for the James Dyson Award . The date initially proposed for building the umbrella was 2050, but with a recently-successful Kickstarter campaign that doubled its initial target goal of $10,000, a ‘research team’ in China is claiming it could put out the umbrella by as early as 2015. Read the rest of Air Umbrella Could Be a Reality by 2015 – But is That a Good Thing? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: air umbrella , air umbrella concept , Core77 air umbrella , debaene , dyson , fan , gadget , high , kickstarter , Kickstarter air umbrella , rain , repel , speed , umbrella

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Air Umbrella Could Be a Reality by 2015 – But is That a Good Thing?

10 Awesome Green Gadget Gifts for 2011

December 12, 2011 by  
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If you’ve got a tech geek on your list this holiday season, but are having trouble figuring out what the latest and greatest gadgets are these days, then look no further because we’ve go you’ve covered! We’ve rounded up 10 awesome green gadget gifts for the eco-conscious tech enthusiast — all sure to impress with their cutting edge features and stylin’ good looks. From a sweet Liquid Wood lamp that combines form and function in one clever little package, to this super cool MegaPhone that turns an iPhone into a spectacular sound system, hit the jump for our favorite green gadget gifts! READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco christmas , eco friendly presents , eco gadgets , eco holiday , eco xmas , eco-friendly gifts , eco-gifts , environmentally friendly gifts , environmentally friendly presents , green christmas , green gadget gifts , green gadgets , green gift guide , green gifts , green holiday , green holiday gift guide , green presents , green xmas

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10 Awesome Green Gadget Gifts for 2011

How can I reuse or recycle an hand coffee mill/grinder?

October 24, 2011 by  
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We’ve had an email from good friend of Recycle This Petra: When cleaning some cupboards, I found an old hand coffee mill. I never use it for coffee beans, but could you think of another purpose for this mill. Something to grind for kitchen use? Or something totally different? All ideas are welcome. My ex had a very basic hand grinder for coffee and it took *forever* to grind enough beans for a single cup of coffee so if it’s anything like that one, I wouldn’t advocate using it to grind any large quantities of things or anything that needs to be very fine. I suspect more modern/expensive grinders are more efficient though and probably give more control over the final ground size – I’ve never tried it but could they be used for making rice flour or chickpea (gram) flour ? (If you’re not going to make use of it, the usual “pass it on” rule & routes apply: someone might want it for grinding coffee. I regularly see this type of thing on the “household” shelves of local charity/thrift shops or at car boot sales etc – they’re often sold without original packaging/instructions as long as they’re in good, clean condition.) Any other suggestions for things to grind in it aside from coffee? Or other reuses/recycling ideas?

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How to create a solar charger for your e-reader

October 8, 2011 by  
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Ketan Katdare: Solar charger for your e-reader How to create a solar charger for your e-reader We use lots of electronic gadgets that run on a battery. When you are using these gadgets for longer duration, you need to charge the batteries more often. If you the gadget for longer duration, then you have to spend more time on charging the batteries. There is a solution to this problem. You can create a solar charger that can help your e-reader to work continuously. And this will help you to reduce the charging time. Here, we will see how to make such solar charger. Difficulty level This task is moderately difficult. You don’t have to be very expert in the electronics field. But you should have some basic knowledge of the device you are modifying along with some terminologies of the hardware. You should know the basic knowledge of dismantling the device and putting it back together. Time required It requires maximum one hour to complete the task. If you are not well aware of the technical things you might take some extra minutes. If you are ready with all the necessary equipments, it won’t take too much time. Resources required You should be ready with all the necessary resources so that you will finish it off quickly. 1. An e-reader 2. A Schottky diode, you can get this at any electronic shop. 3. MAX1551 or MAX1555 IC . These are integrated circuits and accept operating input voltages up to 7V, so very easy to implement. 4. A small capacitor for MAX1551/1555. Capacitors are generally made up of ceramic material. 5. SOT23 to DIP breakout board. It is very hard to solder the wires directly to the integrated circuits because they are too small to do this. You can buy it from eBay. 6. Apart from these main things, you will need some wires, a soldering iron, solder, a dremel and padded double sided tape. A multi-meter can also be added in your inventory. 7. Solar panels. Estimated cost The estimated cost of all the material is not much. You have to pay for the electrical parts. Its price ranges from brand to brand. Also there is a difference in the prices on some websites. Instructions 1. Open the e-reader: The first step is to open the e-reader. As it doesn’t have screws, opening e-reader is quite tough job. Open it gently with the thin tip of the screw driver. After opening the e-reader, remove all the wires from the main board. Inside e-reader, you will find four screws holding the circuit board with the body of e-reader. Remove screws and take out the board. 2. Cut a hole in the back cover: You have to make a hole in the back cover where you want to put the solar panels. 3. Wire the solar panels together: Wire the two panels in parallel direction.The two “+” and “-” should come parallel on the panels. 4. Put solar panels in the e-reader: Make sure that you are using strongly padded double side tape to attach the panels to the metal shielding. The solder pads should be located at the top without covered by the double sided tape. 5. Soldering the MAX1551/1555 (Integrated Circuits) to the breakout board: This is very critical step to perform. Here are the steps: a. Place small amount of solder on both the pads. b. Place the IC with the help of clamps on the board. c. Put a little pressure on IC and heat the legs so that solder will go in between the legs and board. d. After cooling down of the solder, make sure that your connections are made properly. 6.Wire the panels to the battery: You have to solder the wires properly to the positive and negative points of the solar panels. Don’t forget to put the capacitors in between.You have to solder another pair of wires to the positive and negative terminals of the battery. Cut the tape in case you need to do. After soldering the wires, put the tape back to avoid the short circuit. Also, put some tape where you want to put your IC to avoid any short circuit due to the contact with shield. 7. Put e-reader back: Now, you have to put together all the screws to fix the e-reader back. Put the display of the main board back to it’s place. Put all the covers back. Now you are ready with the device. Frequently asked questions From where to buy the ICs and the remaining material? You can buy all the required material from the electrical shop. You can buy it from internet websites. How to recharge the device? To recharge the device, you have to go out in the sunny area and expose the solar panel to the sun. This will help you to recharge the e-reader. Quick tips You have to make sure that you are exposing the solar panels to the direct sun. Initially it takes a little time to recharge but afterwards the process becomes smooth. Things to watch out for You have to take care that all the connections are made properly. Do not forget to use the strongly padded tape to avoid the short circuit as the wires are exposed to the metal material.

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How to create a solar charger for your e-reader

10 Ecofriendly wind-up gadgets

September 20, 2011 by  
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Rajni Mehta: Wind-up gadgets Wind-up gadgets that allows you to charge your gadget anywhere Wind-up gadgets have become the hot favorite around the world. Now MP3 players, bike lights, LED torches and many other devices have been included in the expanding range of wind-up gadgets. Read on and find out more about the 10 best ecofriendly wind-up gadgets currently available. 1. Ecofriendly walkie-talkies Eco friendly walkie-talkies Wind-up and save battery expenses with eco friendly walkie-talkies This ecofriendly gadget comes with a wind-up system and is pretty usable as well as useful. You may want to keep a track of your kids running around your house or playing at the backyard with this device, or may need to use them as a part of your outdoor work. The technical features of this device include a transmitting power of 0.5W, a 3 km talk range and an audio output of 200 mW. It can be fed through USB or mains adaptor. The rechargeable lithium battery, when fully charged, provides you a talktime of 1.5 h along with a standby of 8 h. You can get a 2 minutes talk time along with a 10 minutes standby time with just a 1 minute cranking. 2. Wind-up phone charger Wind Up phone Charger No electricity charge -Wind Up phone charger We have become so addicted to and habituated of our phones that we cannot imagine an hour without them. They have replaced many other gadgets in our lives and serve the purpose of those gadgets alone. Say for instance, you don’t need to carry a camera, an MP3 player, a video game or a laptop separately since a mobile phone does all the work of these gadgets alone. But what if the charge of your phone exhausts while you are no where near a place to charge your mobile? It can be a real pathetic situation. To solve this problem, wind-up phone chargers have been introduced so that you can charge your phone anywhere and anytime. This phone charger uses wind as its energy that you can avail anywhere and in plenty. A couple of minutes of cranking would give you power for 30 extra minutes. 3. Wind-up LED lantern Wind-up LED lantern Eco friendly wind-up LED lantern Radio Mobile Power Hub These ecofriendly lanterns are a notch higher up than traditional lanterns. They not only provide you with sufficient light to fill a small room or tent, but also have in-built radio in them. So you can get light along with music or news from LED lantern. The best part is that you don’t have to incur any additional expense for batteries to provide the lantern with energy and yet you get light from this lantern for endless time span since the lantern consumes wind as its energy resource. 4. Wind-up iPod and phone charger Wind up ipod and Phone Charger Wind up ipod and Phone Charger – Recharge on the go This wind-up device not only helps you charge your phone and iPod, but it also serves as an emergency torch. This is said to be the smallest emergency charging device available so far. With a weight of only 90 grams, it is an extremely light-weight device. The gadget is also very sleek and slim look wise and is very convenient for carrying with you anywhere. The device can be used to charge almost all reputed headsets and iPods. And you don’t have to pay a fortune to get this ecofriendly device as the gadget has been priced very reasonably. 5. Wind-up battery Wind Up Battery Wind Up Battery ensures that you never run out of charge Nowadays, most of the electronic goods come with an in-built battery system. But there are still a large number of electronic items that require external AA or AAA batteries for energy or power. The problem with such electronic goods is that you can have no idea as to how much charge is left in the battery and how long will the device work with that battery power. So, it can happen anytime that while using the item with an external battery system the charge of the battery exhausts and the device stops working. It’s not necessary that you are always conveniently located to get new batteries or charge the old ones. To sort this problem wind-up batteries have been introduced that can be manually charged by cranking. 6. Wind-up shaver wind up shaver PowerPlus Piranha: Wind-Up your own Shaver With this new wind-up shaver, you can get a clean shaven look even if there is no power or electricity. Simply crank the device for a minute and in return it provides your shaver enough charge to function for a complete minute. This shaver comes in with a dual system of charging up, i.e., you can use the wind power or even charge the device from the mains. This is an affordable device and very useful too. 7. Multi function wind-up gizmo Multi Function Wind Up Gizmo Pocket-sized wind-up powered torch, radio, and phone charger This palm sized small device is not only stylish in looks but also a multi-tasker. This is a 3-in-1 device with an auto scan FM radio, a mobile phone charger and a twin LED torch in it. Along with being a multi facility equipment, this device is also ecofriendly. There’s a little handle, that is smartly hidden at the base of the gadget, which needs to be rotated a few times to provide the tool with power. This device comes with a range of other accessories like an earphone and separate charging connectors for Nokia, Ericsson, and Motorola mobile phones. 8. Wind-up remote control Wind up remote control Cool wind up remote control This remote control does not rely on any AA or AAA battery but is charged by winding up. There’s a dial in the remote that if you turn for 30 times gives sufficient power to the remote to last for a weeks time. Besides this device saves a lot of your money which you would have wasted in the long run on batteries to fuel your remote. 9. Wind-up Sherpa Xray torch Wind-up Sherpa Xray torch Freeplay’s Wind-up Sherpa Xray torch This torch is ecofriendly, economical and a great regular as well as emergency tool. It can be a real savior unlike those traditional torches that leave you in the dark if the batteries are exhausted. Wind-up technology has been put to good use here and all you need to do is to wind the torch for power and it provides light to you whenever and wherever needed. 10. Wind-up mobile phone charger Wind-Up Mobile Phone Charger Needs No Batteries or Mains Power Supply Now you get the freedom to charge your mobile phone from anywhere with this wind-up mobile phone charger. All you need to do is plug the charger into your phone and turn the handle a few times and your mobile is charged. You can get 30 to 60 minutes of standby time and 2 to 8 minutes of talk time by winding the charger for just 3 minutes.

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New Terahertz “Invisibility Cloak” Imaging Offers an Alternative to Harmful X-Ray Body Scans

September 6, 2011 by  
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Scientists at Northwestern University have tapped the terahertz frequency range and opened the door to harm-free radiation imaging technology and early-detection cancer screening devices. The technology hinges upon what has been described as an “ invisibility cloak ” – a prism-shaped structure no more than ten millimeters long. Designed at the atomic level, the purpose of the metamaterial “cloak” is to help scientists identify organic compounds that resonate on a frequency between infrared and microwaves. Read the rest of New Terahertz “Invisibility Cloak” Imaging Offers an Alternative to Harmful X-Ray Body Scans Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: airport security , biomedical research , body scan , cancer , cancer cells , cancer detection , cancer research , engineering , gadget , green technology , innovative medicine , invisibility , invisibility cloak , ionizing radiation , medical technology , metamaterial , microfabrication , microwave , nano electronics , nano technology , nanoscale , nanotechnology , northwestern , Northwestern University , organic electronics , pancreatic cancer , public health , radiation , t-ray , terahertz , terahertz optics , terahertz scanner , visible spectrum , wavelength , x-ray

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New Terahertz “Invisibility Cloak” Imaging Offers an Alternative to Harmful X-Ray Body Scans

10 coolest solar powered speakers for green audiophiles

August 16, 2011 by  
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Jaspreet Kaur Walia: 10 coolest solar powered speakers for green audiophiles Enjoy the guilt free music with solar powered speakers and play your role in preserving the nature. Speakers have the power to enliven the whole place with soul-wrenching tunes and force audiophiles to slip into a state of pure bliss. But, have you ever felt guilty while using electricity sucking speakers just to entertain yourself? People are getting all the more conscious about the ever-deteriorating environment and consumption of precious resources. This has motivated designers to craft music-whiffing instruments that harness energy of the sun. Below is a list of solar powered speakers that vow to bring green music to the ears of eco-freaks. 1) Carrot Solar Speaker: This portable speaker looks way too cute. Carry it while traveling and enjoy good quality music on the go. Couple it with your MP3 or PMP and dive into the world of your favorite tracks. The façade is quite impressive and has been crafted from ABS plastic and comes embedded with aluminum speakers. Solar panels have been beautifully concealed inside the body and spread out when it has to be charged. Its sleek designing and color options make the solar speaker an instant hit amongst the stylish population. 2) Disko SU 1: Disko SU 1 speaker has been given plain looks. The fully self-powered speaker will make outdoor gatherings all the more fun. The top has been wedged with a solar panel that traps energy from the sun. The sustainable option whiffs out crystal clear sounds and can be used with a variety of gadgets including laptops and smartphones. It creates a disco type feel because of the presence of three LED lights. 3) Solar Sound: Solar sound is Japan’s first solar powered speakers and comes fitted with solar panels at the top. The 290 gm speakers harness energy from the sun with the help of lithium-ion batteries. It will keep entertaining users for a good five to eight hours once fully charged. Connect your iPods, MP3 players and other portable devices through a stereo mini input. It’s 2W x 2ch audio output will leave listeners in a state of awe. 4) Gramo solar-powered speakers: If you are a party animal who cares for the environment, then Gramo solar-powered speakers will leave you impressed. These eye-catching speakers have been fitted with three layers of photovoltaic panels, which will trap enough energy to keep you drenched with the musical aura. The speaker has soft touch controls for easy volume adjustment. It takes a flat form when folded and hence it ranks easy on the storage graph. So, fit it with your preferred gadget and set the party mood the green way. 5) Outdoor Solar Wireless speakers: Outdoor Solar Wireless speakers help you save precious resources and exploit solar power for a better living. The eco-friendly speakers will leave environment lovers drooling all over the creation. You can easily connect your MP3 player, iPod, CD player, TV or stereo and drown in the charm of all-weather 900MHz speakers. The solar panels are in-built and ensure clean and green tunes. 6) Sunflower Outdoor speaker concept: Give your parties a touch of eco-friendliness with the Sunflower Outdoor Speaker concept. The green creation has been designed by Ignacio Pilotto and comes fitted with solar cells. These cells charge the lithium battery present in the design. The concept gets energy from UV rays with the help of a solar cell center when placed in the direction of sun rays. A user can easily position it at a desired angle by rotating and enjoy great music. LED lights have been used to display the energy/battery status. 7) Hexound solar powered speakers: Hexasound solar powered speakers double as headphones. The dual usage product has been designed by Zhong-Fa Lie and exploits renewable solar energy for its functioning. The wireless creation has been embedded with photovoltaic cells that are present in its band. Swap it from the headphone to speaker mode by flipping a switch present. 8) Solar powered wireless amplified speakers: Solar powered wireless amplified speakers have been specially designed by iGadget for the music loving generation. It has seven rechargeable AA batteries that make listening to music nothing less than a treat. The top of this all-weather gadget has been embedded with solar panels that trap enough energy from the sun. The speakers can be attuned with a laptop, TV, DVD/MP3/CD player, and all kinds of audio outputs. With a 900 MHz frequency, the Solar powered wireless speakers are accompanied with a remote control, connector cable, transmitter, power supply, a receiver and seven rechargeable AA batteries. 9) Solar Sound System: The curvy creation by designers Paolo Metaldi and Luca Elli are quite elegant. The upper part of the design features photovoltaic panels, while the lower portion embraces the speaker. The handy system can be used both indoors and outdoors. It will sprinkle a magical aura with ergonomic handles and an assortment of plastic covers. 10) SunnySong: The flower-shaped speaker system is solar-powered and whiffs green music. The speaker further makes good use of Bluetooth technology and will feature A2DP/AVRCP Bluetooth. SunnySong has been designed to make hearts melt the environmentally-friendly way.

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10 solar powered three wheeled vehicles

August 16, 2011 by  
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Lakshmi A: Solis Solar Powered Car Solar powered vehicles Renewable energy is the buzzword of the day. Conservation of fossil fuel is of utmost importance in today’s world. We are constantly on the lookout for efficiently designed infrastructure, gadgets, and vehicles that allow us to make use of alternate energy sources that are sustainable; and what better source than solar energy can come to our aid? In a unique approach to save fuel, three wheeler vehicles (trikes) powered by solar energy are now being showcased. Let’s take a look at a few such vehicles that boast of eco-friendliness, while they may not really be a comfortable mode of travel as yet. 1. Sunswift Ivy This solar powered car is the fastest such vehicle in the world today, with a record speed of 55.077 mph. Designed by the students of the University of New South Wales, this vehicle has a chassis made from carbon fiber, uses about 1200 W of power generated by its solar cells, and is run by a three-phase CSIRO DC motor of 1800 W capacity. It is also fitted with a 24.75 kg lithium ion polymer battery source. 2. SunHawk Built by the students of the Electrical and Computer engineering Department of the State University of New York located in New Paltz, and designed by MIT’s Solar Electric Vehicle group, this light-weight vehicle comprises an aluminum frame plastered with solar cells, draped with a combination of carbon fiber, Nomex, and Kevlar, and runs on a three-phase electric motor based on solar power. The $250,000 vehicle’s lithium iron phosphate battery takes about four hours to get fully charged by the power generated from the silicon cells. This sturdy trike can travel all day long at decent speeds, and is expected to achieve 90 mph with technological advancements. 3. Nuna 4 Voted the fastest solar powered car in Scandinavia for the year 2004, it has been a while since the latest model of the Nuna family, Nuna 4 hit the roads in 2007. Though its speed dropped from the original 105 mph, the design has improved from that of Nuna 2, which resembled an airplane’s wing to a cabin that can house the driver in a seated position, and also provided a steering wheel to control the vehicle. 4. The Continuum With looks that compete with a barrel, this narrow, feather-weight vehicle, lined with 2726 solar cells on the upper portion of its exterior surface, has been designed with a single aim to achieve maximum distance using solar power within a given time frame. The vehicle is operated by controls located on the carbon-fiber steering wheel. Built by the students of the University of Michigan, the project is funded by a two-year budget of $2.4 million. 5. Solar-powered ATV The brainchild of Gadi Dudler, this trike is capable of handling all terrains with equal ease. The roof of the cabin is lined with solar cells that generate the required power and this is complemented by electric engines at the rear wheels. The power for electric engine in the front wheel comes from a spoiler unit fitted on the cabin. 6. Gazelle 2 Originating from Iran, this single seater, weighing about 150 kg can travel at speeds up to 120 km/hour. With a solid plating of solar cells on its body, the vehicle is capable of traversing about 600 km during the course of a perfect sunny day. However, it doesn’t look too comfortable. 7. Solar Cycle This vehicle is in effect a motorcycle having three wheels, designed to run on a 9′ pancake motor powered by silicon cells. With speed up to 60 km/hour, the body of the vehicle has been built using plastic and ultra-light aluminum. Despite being a two-seater, the motorcycle also provides sufficient storage space. 8. Greenhouse 2000 SolarCycle This vehicle from Greenhouse 2000, Inc. in Orlando, Florida is a light-weight solar powered motorcycle that has an air-conditioned driver’s cabin. A prototype of this unit is already licensed in Florida and will be commercially available on a small scale in 2013. The SolarCycle can be operated at a speed of 40 mph during the day for an indefinite time period; however, it can reach up to only a maximum of 85 mph at any given time. 9. Sun-E-Trike This bike is already licensed and is available in three different designs, an 85-watt Front Mount model, a 170-watt Canopy model, both single seaters; and a 255-watt tandem model twin seater. Each and every model is capable of speeds ranging from 12-16 mph in broad daylight. The bikes are also fitted with pedals that can be used to augment the speed. 10. Solar Electric Trike This trike created by Josh Hadar, a New York based sculptor, is an eco-friendly model for commuting in and around the city. Powered by six 125-watt solar panels, the vehicle speed is about 45 mph maximum. It uses a 15 hp Mars Electric motor and houses four 12-volt lead-acid batteries.

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Green Overdrive Video: Tesla’s Apple-Inspired Stores

April 15, 2011 by  
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Tesla has a new inspiration for selling its pioneering electric car: Apple.

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Green Overdrive Video: Tesla’s Apple-Inspired Stores

CES 2011: i1 Eco Universal Adapter Charges Almost Any Gadget

January 6, 2011 by  
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CES 2011 is giving way to an array of energy efficient designs this year, but beyond the staggering advances in flat screen TVs and super-fine camera lenses, there are a handful of companies keeping things a little more practical. Making its debut at CES today,  IDAPT revealed their i1 Eco dual Universal Charger . The compact IDAPT i1 Eco is not only made from recycled materials , but it meets Energy Star standards with an auto-off system energy conserving mechanism, and minimizes a user’s carbon footprint while charging most electronic devices. With two points of charge, a USB port and a tip port, the device aptly considers future developments in technology , while making it compatible with over 4,000 devices on the market today

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CES 2011: i1 Eco Universal Adapter Charges Almost Any Gadget

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