On Wednesday Sony Europe, supported by WWF, launched Open Planet Ideas, an online community ‘incubator’ for collaborative technology solutions to critical environmental issues. To quote the web site “Open Planet Ideas is a place where you can collaborate to identify environmental issues and then tackle them as a community using Sony technology in new and clever ways”.
Community members can draw their inspiration from the environmental information hosted on the platform, which will give a snapshot of current environmental challenges based on the latest facts and figures assembled by WWF.
The approach of re-using existing technologies apparently comes from a project last year. A group of young people in California thought up the idea of using Sony’s IPELA security cameras, wireless networks and photo-stitching software to create an online community of citizen firewatchers in a high-risk forest fire area.
Open Planet Ideas will remain open until January 2011 and then the most viable concepts – as selected by the community and a panel of top Sony and WWF experts – will be taken to the next stage of technical and environmental viability. Those that thought up the idea will then work with a Sony design team to bring the idea to fruition. So if you’ve got any bright ideas, off you go.
It’s a great concept and may well generate some interesting ideas for green technology applications. What we really need, though, is the same thing on a wider scale and not tied to a specific make of technology. Just generating innovative ideas of how to apply existing technology to help address our environmentally challenges would be useful. Particularly given the poor showing of Green IT in enabling carbon reduction, as revealed in the Fujitsu research I reported on the other day.