My kitchen counter is covered by an unsightly tangle of black electrical cords each terminating in a distinctly different charger head meant to be plugged into an electronic device: an IPhone, a Blackberry, a cell phone, an IPad, a Kindle, whatever. You grope, untangle and then blindly try one after another before finally finding the right one. Comes the weekend when your children visit, the tangle grows exponentially. What a mess, what a waste.
Way back when, at the dawn of the electronic age, manufacturers conspired, probably in violation of present day anti trust laws, to standardize products. All radios used the same electric plug to access electrical power. You could only buy record players [remember them, those things with turntables?] that rotated at 33 1/3, 45 or 78 revolutions per minute. You could not go out get a record player that revolved at, let’s say 53 revs, no way. You had to go with the flow, the accepted universal way of doing things.
So what is it with all these electronic geniuses, the MIT, CalTech and
RPI graduates, the guys at Intel, Toshiba, Soni, Apple? Can’t they get their act together and agree that power for all of their gadgets will be accessed through a universal power plug that all devices could use interchangeably? Is simplicity, sanity and savings too much to ask?
Some forwarding thinking electrical engineering students from, of all places, Belgrade, Serbia have just devised a “Strawberry Tree”, a free standing kiosk that harnesses solar energy and makes it available for free to passerby’s whose electronic device are about to expire and need that an immediate jolt of electricity to keep on going like the Energizer Bunny. But in order to make it function the device has sixteen, count them, sixteen different electric chargers to accommodate the most frequently used devices.
The “Strawberry Tree” will be installed in front of the
in European Parliament Building and featured at European Commission’s “Week of Sustainable Energy Development”. But does it really take sixteen almost identical charger heads to make the idea work for most of us walking down the street? Do I really want a great big tangle of black wire spaghettini or capellini littering my kitchen counter? I think not. So to you electrical engineers out there: “Come on guys, get your act together!” Brussels