PSFK’s Trending Topic: Passive Device Power Used For Good

PSFK’s Trending Topic: Passive Device Power Used For Good

New technologies help people make the world better by doing nothing.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 27 february 2014

There seems to be a move in the app industry toward creating platforms that utilize the unused power from mobile devices for the collective good. From Samsung’s alarm clock app that turns unused computing power into science research to a contact lens that detects sugar levels as the wearer goes about their day, new technologies are enabling us to better ourselves and the world around us by doing virtually nothing.

Check out some of the technologies that have been featured on PSFK.


Alarm Clock App Contributes Phone’s Downtime To Research

Power Sleep, the product of a collaboration between Samsung Austria and the Faculty of Life Sciences of University of Vienna, is an Android alarm clock app that donates the unused processing power of the phone to research while the owner is asleep. When the alarm app is set, small packets of data are sent from lab servers at the University of Vienna and are sent back once the devices have completed their computations. The calculations are stored in a database that can be accessed by the scientific community.


Implantable Device Turns The Body Into Pacemaker Charger

American and Chinese researchers are developing a small power-generating device that is implanted into the body and uses the body’s natural movements to generate electricity for medical devices like pacemakers. The device is still under development but it can potentially help those who live with implanted devices.


UNICEF Turns Smart Device Off-Time To Water For Children

For this year’s UNICEF Tap Project, the organization encourages people to stay off their smartphones to provide clean drinking water to children who need it. For every 10 minutes that a person stays off his or her smartphone, UNICEF partners will donate one day of water to children in need. Supporters just need to access the site on their smartphones and then set their devices down. The site detects whether the phone is moving or steady and starts a timer to determine how long the users stay off their devices.


Contact Lenses Monitor Blood Sugar Levels

Google is developing contact lenses with a built-in chip to monitor the user’s blood sugar levels through his or her tears and then relay the information to the user. The lenses take measurements every second, allowing the user to be constantly aware when their sugar levels rise or fall. The contact lenses are under development but they would be very useful to diabetics by cutting down on the costs and hassle of always measuring their blood sugar levels.


How Indiegogo Is Becoming An Adult Product Destination

Home september 23, 2016

Watch This Fire Pit Dance Along To Your Favorite Song

Music City Fire is a system that is designed to flicker in time to ambient music

Automotive september 23, 2016

Slick GPS Navigator Gives Directions To Moped Riders

This small, round device attaches to a sideview mirror to display maps for safer traveling


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Home september 23, 2016

A Clock That Beautifully Manages Your Information Overload

The wall-mounted timekeeper is made to help people maintain focus and stay up to date with their appointments

Arts & Culture september 23, 2016

Performance Piece Blends Dancers Into Folds Of Light

The work provides commentary on the increasing connection between programmed and analog dimensions

Design & Architecture september 23, 2016

Design Firm Adapts Childhood Homes For Unemployed Young Adults

The studio has unveiled three prototypes of transformed living spaces for people forced to move back in with their families

Health september 23, 2016

These Chocolate Squares Claim To Reverse The Aging Process

A group of researchers from Cambridge University have developed a candy bar that promises to give you a youthful glow

Cities september 23, 2016

Food-Producing Architecture Competition Seeks To Better Feed Cities

A design challenge in Copenhagen highlights the need and beauty of urban farming


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed september 21, 2016

Creative Agency Founder: Using VR As A Race Relationship Tool

Maurice Bernstein, CEO and Founder of Giant Step, explores the value in transforming headsets from high-tech entertainment tools into empathy machines

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Health september 23, 2016

Wearable Monitors Sun Exposure To Prevent Sunburn

The clip monitors UV rays to make sure you're not receiving too much sunlight

Op-Ed september 23, 2016

Productivity Expert: The Magic Of The Five-Hour Workday

Stephan Aarstol, Founder of Tower Paddle Boards, explains why the modern notion of office hours needs to evolve

Culture september 23, 2016

This Exhibition’s Crowning Jewel Is An 18k Gold-Plated Toilet

The piece, titled 'America,' is meant to raise questions about the country's wealth inequality

Culture september 23, 2016

Match Up With Dates On Tinder Based On Your Music Preferences

A new partnership with Spotify lets people pair up based on shared tastes in artists

Entertainment september 23, 2016

Capture, Cut Up, And Configure Your World In 360 Degrees

To meet a booming 360 and VR video-capturing industry, a multimedia software company bolstered its media editing suite for 360-video creation


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Advertising september 23, 2016

These Trucks Drove Around In Circles For 24 Hours To Keep Time

The giant ticking clock was created by 14 Scania vehicles in a deserted airfield

Advertising september 23, 2016

Buy Movie Tickets Directly From Your Facebook Profile

The new feature is part of a campaign from Fandango to further imbed social media into the ticket vendor's digital presence

Asia september 23, 2016

Co-Working Space Brings The Calming Atmosphere Of Nature Indoors

An architectural firm in China has designed a new type of shared office that prioritizes the natural environment

No search results found.