More Effective Rain Water Handling

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Problem: Underground tanks that store waste water are over flooding at an alarming rate causing water pollution.  When a storm occurs, these water tanks quickly reach their peak capacity and are unable to hold onto the excess water.

Technology:  A sensor and valve that is added to existing water tanks to measure how full the tanks are.  Weather alerts that are aligned with this sensor inform the tank when a storm is coming so that the water currently in the tank can be safely dumped beforehand.

Stakeholders: Every day citizens who are affected by waste water.  Also, the professionals who work in waste water cleanup business would benefit from this technology.

Implementation:  It would be expensive, timely, and invasive to install these smart valves and sensors onto all existing water tanks.  A likely scenario would be to focus on a small number of tanks first so that the benefits can be adequately measured and implemented again down the road.

Source: http://money.cnn.com/gallery/technology/2014/11/11/innovative-city-tech/8.html

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Stackable Cars

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Problem:  As locating parking spots becomes more difficult in urban areas, drivers are wasting more time than ever looking for a spot to park their car.  This is time wasted that could be used for other productive tasks.  It also results in cars emitting more carbon emissions and creates even more congestion.

Technology:  Cars that fold up and into each other. With this technology, multiple cars can fit into one parking spot.  The cars would be city owned and would be shared throughout the community.

Stakeholders:  Everyone who drives a car.  Also, city officials who would be tasked with regulating this.  Pedestrians and bikers would also be stakeholders as they would benefit from less congested roads.

Implementation:  This would require a mass adoption of new transportation system that may be slow to implement.  In an ideal scenario, the city would own and operate the shared vehicles.  This would certainly be a substantial infrastructure overhaul and would take multiple years to implement.

 

Source: http://money.cnn.com/gallery/technology/2014/11/11/innovative-city-tech/5.html

Sensordrone: The 6th Sense of Your Smartphone

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Problem:  People do not have easy access to sensors that detect key aspects of life such as carbon monoxide levels, humidity levels, altitude levels, etc.  Although there are ways to pull each of these measurements independently, it is not a simple task and there is not one central device that can gather all of the data.

Technology:  With the Sensordrone app, your smartphone will have 12 sensors that can measure a wide array of vital components.  These sensors allow you the ability to learn all about your surroundings beyond what the eye can see. It is a platform that lives in a small sensor that can be latched on to your keys or wallet.  The information is all uploaded automatically to your phone.

Stakeholders: Any consumer that wants to be more in touch with their surroundings.  Parents who want to ensure that their family is safe, or building owners that want to maximize air quality would be two key examples of potential users.

Implementation:  Because the capabilities are not obvious at first glance, a decent size marketing campaign would be needed to create the necessary market awareness.  Once that is achieved, the installation of the device would be a seamless process given the user-friendly interface.

 

Source: http://grandst.com/marketplace/sensordrone

Sprav: A Device That Alerts You When It’s Time To Get Out of the Shower

Problem:  Although showering is an enjoyable experience for most people, too often we stay in the shower too long.  Water waste on top of increased energy and water heater bills is the result of this.  It’s a problem that does not have wide-spread awareness.

Technology:  The Sprav:  A simple device that clips onto your shower and blinks yellow when it’s almost time to get out of the shower, and red when your time is done.  This is a easy, and straightforward way for a person to know when they are using up too much water. It’s a small, low-power device that is at eye level.

Implementation: The biggest barrier to implementing will be to convince people that this is worth it.  People need to be made more aware of the extra money they are spending and the damaging effects water waste has on the environment.  After that’s in place, a large marketing campaign would be needed to educate the market.

Stakeholders: All homeowners that have a shower.  Everybody who showers regularly has an opportunity to pitch in and help save the environment with this device.

 

Source: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3020555/fund-this/a-simple-shower-warning-device-that-turns-red-when-youre-in-there-too-longed

Roads That Charge Your Electric Vehicle While You’re Driving

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Technology: Researchers are developing a technology to build embedded charging stations into the infrastructure of roads.  Electric cars would be seamlessly charged as they drove on the roads.

Problem: As the development of electric cars continues to evolve, the need for charging stations is a potential bottleneck to wide-spread adoption. Expensive & immobile stations need to be adequately spread out across all areas where people are driving electric cars.  It is currently an inconvenience of owning an electric car and has the potential to stall the growth of the industry.

Stakeholders: All current and future electric car owners,  city planners who are responsible for road infrastructure, and tax payers who’s money would presumably go to implementing this technology.

Implementation: Implementing this technology would be expensive and intricate, but is not as far fetched as it may sound. It would entail utilizing a magnetic pairing between a ground charging coil and a copper coil in the vehicle. A WiFi connection between the road and the car would also need to be established to allow this process to occur.

Source: http://www.computerworld.com/article/2998356/telematics/researchers-developing-roads-that-charge-your-electric-car-while-youre-driving.html

Solar Radiation Management

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Technology: Process that reflects the radiation from sunlight back up to space.

Sustainability Problem: The radiation that the sun lets off is a major source contributing to global warming.  These toxic rays penetrate the atmosphere and “stick” to the ground.  The greenhouse gasses that this is currently providing is vast.

Stakeholders: Engineers that are developing and perfecting this technology. The government is also a key stakeholder in determining what type of solar radiation management is permitted.

Implementation: There are multiple methods and options to implement this technology.  One of which is developing a balloon to shoot out gasses that work as a sling board to send the radiation up to space. Another example would be to replace rooftops with pale colored material that would be conducive to reflecting sunlight.

Source: http://geoengineering.weebly.com/solar-radiation-management.html

PaperKarma: An App That Unsuscribes you from Unwanted Paper Mail

Technology:  An app that scans your address on a physical piece of mail and automatically unsubscribes you from receiving mail from the sender in the future.

Sustainability Problem:  There is currently mass amounts of mail people receive on a daily basis that ends up going directly into the garbage.  So much paper is being wasted and people do not know how to, or are not willing to, take the time to stop the unwanted mail from being delivered to their mailbox

Stakeholders: The stakeholders for this technology would be every person who receives physical mail as well as mailmen & women who are managing the delivery of all of the mail.

Implementation: The biggest barrier to wide-spread implementation is awareness.  People simply do not know this technology exists.  Marketing efforts will have to be expanded to achieve real progress on a global scale.

Reference: https://www.paperkarma.com/