Trees use sun’s energy to make food for themselves (photosynthesis is the word for it). That’s what we have understood as a kid. But today we can come across a tree that utilizes solar power to help us charge our gadgets! Hey it’s not Friday yet and I am too sober to joke. And so you gotto believe me that this thing is for real. This real tree is called the Helios Power Tree and it is a part of the NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program Spring 2008 show, where graduate students are exhibiting dozens of fascinating and forward-thinking projects.
The brain behind this kinda man-made tree is Oscar G. Torres. Helios Power Tree features leaves that are made from thin solar cells which in turn are linked, through the branches and trunk, to a large battery at the tree’s base. This solar powered battery is thus powered to emit blue lights all around the tree. But it’s not the blue light that has caught the attention.
The tree is supposed to be grown (I mean placed) in a public space so that you can use the solar energy that it collects to charge any of your USB-powered gadgets via a hub at the tree’s base. Imagine a town full of such Helios Power Trees! We don’t need to carry our electric chargers or even our pocket-sized solar chargers. Torres hopes to build full, tree-sized models of Helios out of more sustainable materials and put them in urban parks, where they’ll serve as attractive but also very useful public art.