What are your favourite gadgets?

What are your favourite gadgets (from the Gadget Show Live 2011, or ones that you use)? Do you think they could be developed to transform the lives of poor people across the world? If so, how? What could they be used for?

This discussion is now closed, but you can see see what other Geeks had to say:

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  • Reply

    M@rtin said:

    said:
    Always impressed by the simplest tech that makes such a difference - like the Zeer Pot fridge you had on the stand at GSL. It bears a striking resemblance to a 'Kep-Cold' my mother tells me that she and my grandmother used in the 1940s/50s - 2 foot high, metal frame, lined with porous stone kept topped up with water which evaporated keeping contents cool - perhaps there are other lessons from that generation for other PA technology with a modern twist that could be used in developing countries now. Lessons from the past can often be made relevant to the future....? How can we get older geeks to interact as well? Can everyone ask their more aged relations for inspiration?
    on 4/5/11
  • Reply

    Gemma Hume said:

    said:
    Hi M@rtin The zeer pot is my favourite Practical Action technology for this very reason and it's a favourite of our supporters too. Interestingly, there's some evidence that evaporative cooling was used as early as the Old Kingdom of Egypt, around 2500 B.C. Frescos show slaves fanning water jars, which would increase air flow around the porous jars and aid evaporation, cooling the contents. Yes, we've been concentrating on new technologies today but it would certainly be interesting to look at lessons from the past and ask older geeks to get involved. Perhaps an idea for a new discussion!
    on 4/5/11
  • Reply

    Sara-Jane Brown said:

    said:
    The Gadget Show Live was a great place to see the latest technologies and there were some very exciting developments. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could use them to improve the lives of people struggling with poverty. Unfortunately most wouldn't work. A good proportion of the world's population have no acess to electricty which is crucial to recharging/powering many gadgets, or the equipment/support needed to fix them if they break down. Practical Action should challenge gadget inventors to create something which is appropriate for people who don't have electricty or the means to replace elements or fix the gadgets!
    on 4/5/11
  • Reply

    Helen Marsh said:

    said:
    As a Geek (of a non tech-savvy variety!) i've found this conversation fascinating - challenging the notions of straight technology transfer, exactly what brought Practical Action into being over 45 years ago. At Practical Action we do 'learn lessons from the past' - my grandpa was delighted to hear that the 'fireless cookers' that we train communities to make in Northern Kenya (to save time, resources and reduce drudgery) are based on the 'hayboxes' that were used during WW2 in the UK - simple, appropriate technology.
    on 4/5/11
  • Reply

    Daniel said:

    said:
    One of my favourite hi-tech gadgets from the Gadget Show Live was “Video Sunglasses” Perhaps these could be developed into educational sunglasses, broadcasting lessons while protecting from UVB and UVA radiations.
    on 4/5/11
  • Reply

    Mansoor Ali said:

    said:
    Personally, I feel markets play a good role in promoting solar at scale. The way Grameen Shakti in Bangladesh is trying to scale it up is interesting. Combining positive forces of markets, micro-finance and building repair/ maintennace skills. The way some entreprenuers are reducing the cost is remarkable. One hurdle which developing countries are facing in solar is government import duties. My question is can we bring this existing entreprenuership in technology for the benefit of poor?
    on 4/5/11
  • Reply

    David J. Grimshaw said:

    said:
    Thanks to all you "geeks" out there for taking an interest in our work and engaging in our conversation yesterday. In addition to the expected dialogues about mobile phones, mp3 players and solar chargers there was also a spotlight on vehicle technologies and sugra (moldable goo). All this excitement from the gadget show was well balanced by comments from my colleague Mansoor Ali who made the point that his favourite innovations are those made by the poor themselves. Let's keep the conversation going. We would especially welcome contributions from those who are developing or adapting technologies in addition to all of you who have ideas and insights from your own valuable perspectives.
    on 5/5/11

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