Technology is fascinating. Technology is necessary in some form or the other. Technology is progressive. Yes, all in all, technology is a vital part of our lives or so it has become over the years, even if not initially. After all, today anything that makes life easy and sorted is vital for all of us. Technology makes us competitive which ensures a progressive attitude and the ease of functions and access to useful activities, it allows us to explore a wider perspective of everything we take on.
Being tech-savvy is in fashion, and what could be more appealing and simple than having the latest version of a mobile phone. Avery basic necessity but the first thing we look at in the morning and also the last before sleeping at night! This is one sector that has never looked down on the growth charts since its inception. Growing at an alarming rate in countries throughout the world, mobile phones have become a hand-held tool not just for the rich or the privileged, but more so for the masses. Since the growth is so rapid, who would like to be left behind?!
Cellular communication has come a long way. 1G, 2G, 2.5G, 2.75G, 3G, 3.75G, and now 4G is spreading its wings. This has ensured that mobiles are bought, dumped, and better models are bought again over a very short period of time to remain tech-savvy and in fashion. Little thought is given to the ones discarded. The figures are startling – more than 1.2 million cell phones were sold worldwide in 2009. This increased the global cell phone user base to 3.3 billion. Discarding a cell phone frequently not only means re-selling it or dumping it carelessly, it also involves a whole cycle that goes behind recycling it. Also, manufacturing more number of phones every day involves greater emissions. US alone discards 4,26,000 cell phones every day!
Discarding a phone means unprotected disposal of harmful chemicals like toxic mercury, cadmium, lead and other materials. But one thing that is sure to secure the future of mobile industry is the increasing awareness about these toxic wastes and their management. Mobile handset manufacturers are taking a note of the increasing rate of cell phone disposal. If they cannot avoid it, since they too want to be competitive enough in the market by introducing new models and features, they can surely prevent the after-effects.
Modern and Sensible
Mobile manufacturers are now ready to introduce phones that are Smart and Sensible. In other words, phones that are better on the tech front but are also greener.
Solar powered based stations
India has one of the biggest cell phone markets in the world. So to reduce the ever increasing emissions, The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy of Indian Government is drafting a new proposal. Under this policy, all telecom operators would be asked to cut emissions by converting their diesel-powered cell phone towers to renewable solar energy ones.
India has more than 500 million mobile subscribers and is one of the fastest growing telecom markets. Thus it is seen as a necessary step that will save 5 million tons of emissions every year and will reduce the energy costs by $1.4 billion per annum.
In China as well, there is a solar energy base station that has helped save more energy and discharge lesser emissions. It has been set up by China Mobile, the leading telecommunication operator in China at a much cheaper rate than a common power yielding base station.
Radio Frequency to the rescue
Nokia is planning to launch a prototype device that is capable of generating about 50MW of power from ambient radio waves. This would ensure that the phones can be run in standby mode for an indefinite period of time. This charge would also top up the battery, which is great for users who don’t often use their phones for long calls. This system works by converting electromagnetic waves into electricity using a low-power circuit.
Solar powered cell phones
Popular mobile companies like Samsung and LG have also recognized the need to harness renewable energy. Samsung has launched a solar – powered cell phone known as ‘Blue-Earth’. It is powered by solar panels placed on the back of the phone. Also, the phone body is made from recycled material.
At the same time, LG also unveiled a 3 inch touch screen phone called the ‘Pop’. Apart from being trendy, the phone has a large photovoltaic panel on the back to charge the onboard battery.
With so many alternatives of tapping the renewable energy in the most efficient manner coming up, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that energy consumption can be safe in near future. This would also ensure that new technology is adopted with minimum worry for the planet and thus, a healthy and ‘Eco-Friendly’ competition can be maintained. However, the only challenge would be to insert latest features in such phones and then to encourage their use by publicizing them.