Posts Tagged ‘ Dubai ’

Green Parking spots, the need of the hour.

Cars have increased over the past few years and along with them the services that are required to cater to the car market. The biggest of these is Parking Lots. Parking lots are not only a ugly blob on the landscape, but ecologically they replace in most cases the environment around that area with tarmac and then infuse the area with more car exhaust smoke killing anything that has a chance of growing around the area as well. With more and more people getting aware about the budding environmental issues, companies and designers are continuously thinking of new ideas that promote the use of clean energy. Industrial designers have always dreamt about the possibilities of solar-powered parking lots that not only recharge with clean energy but also generate electricity for lighting purpose. Car parking lots of the future are definitely going to be much more than just storage areas for our vehicles. The image of the Volkswagen Automated Parking system sparked the interest to find similar or better green parking designs around the world. Here we have some of the best green car parking concepts. The list also includes green car parking lots that have already been set up at some places. A note, most of the designs are from the Think Outside the Parking Box competition organized by Designboom and Nissan.

Volkswagen factory Automated Parking system

This is a picture that is circulating the internet for a very long time, and for the most part I thought it was a render of a parking solution which is a bit futuristic in design. I was bowled over to see that this is actually in use and it makes use of only 20% of the space of a conventional parking space for similar capacity. The robotic sorting and storage system is a remarkable engineering marvel. I would love to see a lot more of these in the world, at least in Dubai as parking is a nightmare here. Add to that, its ecologically friendly also.

Japan

If at all there was a country in the world that is synonymous with innovation it would have to be Japan. They take the quote, “Necessity is the mother of all inventions” to the extreme next step. All over Japan there are awesome examples of how car parking is handled in the city. Here are some pictures from the interwebs. Select few are displayed here : http://www.pbase.com/selsadek10/parking_in_japan

Green P parking system:

Designer: Algis Berziunas and Laima Rimkute

The concept is based on the decentralization of parking systems into many smaller spots that can be placed in unused spaces such as under flyovers and bridges. The Green P system also includes a lighting system that can replace or supplement ordinary road lights by charging them with solar energy generated by panels installed on the Green P’s roof. Check out some of the renders below :

More on a city wide

The Eco Parking lot:

Design: Green Corridor

Bringing environmental technologies and green design practices under one roof is the Eco Parking Lot. The stylish design will incorporate green plantation and stormwater remediation technology making it more efficient while maximizing greening potential. This visual treat with special student parking will benefit the Community and city of Windsor. The Eco Parking Lot will utilize environmental technologies and green design practices to create a hardscape that is practical and innovative. The surrounding community will benefit from the additional planting, stormwater remediation technology and designated student parking. The stylized layout of the parking lot acts to make parking more efficient while maximizing greening potential within the lot. As another aesthetic marker for the Community and city of Windsor, the Eco Parking Lot will utilize current dormant space to provide a welcomed service for its users and neighbors.

The Solar Forest Concept

Designer: Neville Mars

As the name suggests, this concept brings trees like structures into action. The Solar Forest Concept consists of trees that are made up of photovoltaic leaves, whose sole purpose is to collect solar power. At the truck of each tree is a power outlet that is used to charge up electric vehicles. Apart from providing charge, the photovoltaic leaves also gives shade to the cars. Instead of having parking lots filling the urban landscape, the Solar Forest offers shade, free EV charging, solar energy generation while simultaneously greatly improving the appearance of the urban landscape. Check out the YouTube video below:

90 degrees vertical parking system

Designer: Baita Bueno

The 90 degrees vertical parking system, one-of-a-kind parking concept parks your car vertically. While you tuck your vehicles into the parking lot, the panels on the flip-side pursue the solar vigor to energize the reclining motor or just keeps piling on for some better use in future. Along with power generation, the unique system allows three cars to park vertically where normally a single car is parked. I remember vividly the scenes from iRobot starring Will Smith. They had these shown, was really impressed. Again, now since this might be coming to life it will be an awesome addition anyway. More pics below:

The Solasis Light Tower:

Designer: Klaud Wasiak and Yongbang Ho

Here is a concept offshore parking area that generates solar energy to recharge electric cars and add valuable juice to the grid. This renewable energy generating parking lot is equipped with a solar power concentrating tower that uses the windshields and hoods of cars as sun tracking and concentrating mirrors. Drivers of the vehicles will also have the option to either use the underground metro line to get back to the city center from the offshore location or walk into the city.

Solar parking Concept:

Designer: Nejur Andrei

Romanian designer Nejur Andrei’s Solar Parking Concept is an impressive perception, for it offers a dual solution to parking and charging of electric vehicles as well. What the design proposes is the wireless transmission of charge from the solar canopy to the charging coil embedded in the asphalt and later, to the car battery.

After sensing an electric car parked, the parking system automatically starts the wireless charging process. The underground battery pack passes this charge on to the multiple charging coils just below the parked car and from here, a receiving coil integrated under the car sucks that charge up. Once the car’s battery is full, the sensors embedded in the asphalt stop the charging process.

Solaire Parking Canopy:

Design: Solaire Generation

Solaire Generation proudly revealed the Solaire Parking Canopy at the Intersolar North America conference in San Francisco, CA. This innovative creation is a modular system that converts the underutilized open parking lots into power plants by providing ingenious structure for PV solar panels. Solaire Generation aims to revolutionize the solar parking lot market with its innovative design. The key features of the Solaire Parking Canopy include Outputs high energy regardless of geographic orientation, Acts as a grey water system, Well-suited for all solar panels and films, Solid steel decking, Dual charging facility – electric and fuel, Establish pioneering advertising space,

This multi-featured unique creation makes Solaire Generation America’s leading provider of solar parking canopies. Apart from the canopy, the company has also developed the Solaire Tree. The solar powered tree shaped structure has a seating at the bottom that could act as a wireless and solar charging station.

Santa Monica Civic Center parking structure:

The building does meet or exceed many of the US Green Building Council’s LEED guidelines. A solar photovoltaic array on the roof provides shade for top level parking and on-site renewable energy. The materials used in construction were recycled and finished with low-VOC paints and finishes. The building envelope utilizes low-e glazing to decrease heating and cooling loads and the mechanicals are energy efficient. A storm-drain water-treatment system helps reduce tainted runoff from directly entering the hydrosphere and greywater harvesting provides for landscaping and on-site facilities.

The Santa Monica Civic Center garage provides 900 parking spaces throughout six above ground stories and 1 ½ below ground levels. Of those 900 spaces, 14 (or less than 2%) are devoted to electric vehicles with public electrical outlets. There’s also free bicycle storage available to “encourage alternate transportation modes.”

Dell’s headquarters parking lot

Any of us who have left their car in a sunny parking lot for a few hours and returned to an oven-like interior know that there’s a lot of wasted energy right there. To make matters worse, we usually then crank up the A/C to compensate, increasing the environmental damage.

Well, here’s a clever way to leave cars in shade and generate electricity at the same time: A solar-power-gathering parking lot. Above is a shot of a “Solar Grove” built by Envision Solar for Dell Computer’s corporate headquarters in Texas. The panels not only generate juice for the facility, but are also connected to two CleanCharge stations that electric vehicles can plug into. Check out the concept video below:

Romag’s PowerPark canopy

The PowerPark canopy at Romag’s headquarters in Consett generates enough juice to power the EVs parked under it. It is capable of producing 1.5kW of peak power in optimal conditions. It has been designed to be linked to the National Grid, so any power generated but not pumped into an e-car can be utilized in a more efficient manner.

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Buy a piece of the future at Sharaf DG : Power Mats

[tweetmeme] Sharaf DG in Dubai is one of my favorite stores, offering a lot of electronics gadgets and offers at the same time. Personally, my experience is of a kid going to a candy store. I always find something noteworthy and something of utter uselessness when I go there, however it might not stock the latest Google Nexus One or Samsung Droid, it still sports something that grabs my attention.

My pick at my last visit was the Power Mat, well you have heard about normal mats, but this will help your gadgets charge and juice up wirelessly, yes you hears that right wirelessly. We’ve seen quite a few induction-based “wireless power” systems make the scene, and while the idea is interesting both in theory and prototype, actually getting it to market has proven to be quite difficult, with some casualties along the way.  Unlike other induction-based “wireless power” contraptions, this one came out earlier this year as total vaporware and has now resurfaced as a collaborative effort by Michigan-based HoMedics Powermat North America (HPNA).

It seems as though Powermat is a shoe-in to the first company to really hit with something usable, affordable and practical. When you need to give something with a USB port a bit of juice, you can simply plug it into the PowerMat and let it transfer power across. It’s nice and neat, and a simple concept. Of course, it tackles the question of wireless charging, that charges devices without them needing to be attached, but it’s no less interesting for it.

I would have got one except that they do not really support Nokia devices and my N95 would not really make use of it, but really when they support it, I would be more than happy to get it. Priced at about Dhs 300, it is something that will drop price as the sales increase.

Checkit out here:

http://www.powermat.com/us/home/
http://www.sharafdg.com/shop/index.aspx

Burj Khalifa is NOT the tallest …

[tweetmeme]  The massive Burj Khalifa here in Dubai officially opened after nearly 5 years of work including some from yours truly, It succeeded Taipei 101 as the world’s tallest building. There is no disputing its preposterous height: At 169 stories, or 2,717 feet, the $4.1 billion tower stands a little more than half a mile high. But not everyone agrees that it qualifies as the tallest manmade structure. And suppose it does? Given how fast the Dubai boom bubble has bust, it’s hard not to think of the building as a monument to the false economies of the 2000s.

Countries on the verge of economic ascendancy can be relied on to build the tallest structure in the world as an expression of their ambition. It was true of America when the Empire State Building topped out in 1931, as it was Kuala Lumpur in the late 1990s and Taiwan in the mid-2000s. It was almost inevitable that the Middle East would steal the crown. The problem, of course, is that over the past six years Dubai had become the poster child of the maligned borrow-and-build approach to prosperity. Shares of Emaar Properties, the tower’s developer, have dropped 86% since Dubai real estate peaked about a year ago. The structure had previously been known as Burj Dubai, but at the ribbon cutting ceremony it was officially renamed Burj Khalifa in honor of Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi or so is the official word on it. It might as well be a cost that Dubai had to pay to try and spread its wings before the economy had developed.

Living here in Dubai we all kind of know that, 90% of the tower’s 1,044 condo apartments have been sold, but most were bought as investments and will likely go unoccupied for the time being. The first residents are supposed to move in later this month, but the real-estate crash may cause a good number of buyers to abandon their deals. Nor will there be much demand for the thirty-seven floors set aside for offices. Burj Khalifa may be a shining spiral edifice on the outside, but it’s interiors will be 3.7 million square feet of emptiness, a vertical ghost town. It’s the architectural equivalent of Pamela Anderson’s breasts a puffed up esthetic for an era of disingenuous.

However, it may not be the tallest structure, depending on the type of measurement. The Ursa tension leg platform (pictured above), an oil production facility 130 miles southeast of New Orleans owned by Shell Oil, has a total height of 4,285 feet from the sea floor. However, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, an obscure coterie of engineers that presides over height statistics, does not consider an oil platform a building because it extends underwater, has minimal habitation and supports itself with tethers. So for now, Dubai holds the record, however dubious it may seem.

YouTube – not just for cute cats anymore

When looking at the Indian Movie Industry adopting technology I mentioned how 3 Idiots will be available as a paid service in India 12 weeks from the release of the movie, it might be more of a PR stunt than adoption of technology. The point to be taken from this is the fact that YouTube is now getting involved more into the main stream media and this mostly in India. All of us have spent time on YouTube looking at cute cats, music videos, of just FAIL videos. This is what they have in mind.

In fact, YouTube is not only looking at the cute cats and crazy stunts of Indian guys, but is looking at the core entertainment medium of the sub continent. Movies and Cricket, yes you read it right, being the 2 most discussed topics in India along with Politics, this is the best route to get into the Indian conversation.

Starting with Cricket

Like a lot of people say, cricket is not a game in India, its a religion. If that is true, the IPL is the Haj of the cricketing world these days especially considering that the T20 format of the game was made famous by IPL. YouTube is now the official match partner for the IPL T20 of 2010. Yes, you read it right. No need to scout the web for an illegal source to watch IPL, you can see it live on YouTube. Check out the IPL Channel here.

Watch Movies Legally

I am not sure how many of you know about the foray of YouTube into movies, it now has a channel dedicated to full length movies and documentaries that can be watched online for free and yes legally. most of them even with english subtitles. What’s more the movies section features a grand “Bollywood” channel, showcasing some good movies like Andaz Apna Apna, Hulchal, Maine Pyar kiya, Hera Pheri, Mumbai Salsa and Amar Akbar Antony amongst others.

You can check out the channel here.

Movie Premiers

Yes you read that right as well, YouTube will be premiering a first in the land of song and dance, the Bollywood movie ‘Striker’ will be premiered on YouTube. At this moment they have mentioned that this will not be visible if you are signing in from India. Users in the US will be charged $4.99 to watch the movie, and everywhere else it will be available for free. Being in Dubai I am sure I will be able to watch the movie online.  I hope bandwidth issues will not hinder us watching this, the YouTube intro for Striker says 4 Days to go. I am sure this is a first of its kind in India.

Check out Striker’s Page here.

I think Google are playing their cards right in India, from landmark based navigation introduced in Google Maps by Google India, Transliteration tools to now YouTube innovations. If things go well, they might be able to bring back people into Orkut, Google’s Social network from Facebook.

Star wars attack – starting with Dubai

Something straight of a science fiction movie, The Star wars world descending on the real world and into Dubai. It is the awesome vision of Artist Cedric Delsaux and his collection of images called Dark Lens Trilogy, showcasing the Star Wars descending on earth.

Cedric Delsaux lives and works in Paris, France. After studying cinematography and journalism, he worked as a bookseller and then as a conceptual-editor in an advertising agency. He has been a full-time photographer since 2003. Delsaux won the Kodak prize for landscapes and architecture with his “Star Wars on Earth” series in 2005, and has seen his career as an artist grow ever since. He has been selected to work on several large automobile advertising campaigns, including Volkswagen, Touareg, Peugeot, Renault Espace, Citroen, Skoda, Adrexo, EDF, Viking and SFR. Delsaux was also selected in the Luerzer’s Archive as one of the “200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide” in 2006. Please visit his website here.

The exhibition of his awesome creations was held at the First Quarter – Fine Art Photography which is the only gallery in Dubai devoted exclusively to fine art photography and serving a rapidly growing membership of artists and photo enthusiasts. You can check out the First Quarter picture gallery and information here.