Tag Archives: future

Nano Diamond Nuclear Batteries, better greener future.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

We have been using our daily electronic devices, depending on a device which was first invented in 1881. Of course, I am talking about a “battery”.

Batteries are a collection of one or more cells whose chemical reactions create a flow of electrons in a circuit. All batteries are made up of three basic components: an anode (the ‘-‘ side), a cathode (the ‘+’ side), and some kind of electrolyte (a substance that chemically reacts with the anode and cathode).

When the anode and cathode of a battery is connected to a circuit, a chemical reaction takes place between the anode and the electrolyte. This reaction causes electrons to flow through the circuit and back into the cathode where another chemical reaction takes place. When the material in the cathode or anode is consumed or no longer able to be used in the reaction, the battery is unable to produce electricity. At that point, your battery is “dead.”

As quoted above, and as we most probably have encountered it before, our batteries are not usable after a certain amount of time. The technological progress we’ve had throughout 100 years is astonishing and technological advancements have to occur as we head into a green and carbon-free future. That is why these advancements have to happen also in the battery business, the solution is Nano Diamond Nuclear Batteries.

Not only is this type of battery much more efficient and longer-lasting, but it does also get rid of toxic waste from nuclear power plants and use it as a green energy solution, as radiation will power them for up to 28 000 years, though we will see for ourselves in the future *wink wink*. Let’s compare these two:

This invention will make our mobile devices almost, or completely charge free and the usability possibilities rise only as fast as our imagination can allow. The electric cars business will be turned around in a fashion that only a fool would discredit as petrol cars soon will go extinct. I’m eager to see what the future will bring, but thanks to this invention, it won’t be as depressing and polluted as many may think. Let’s hope for the best and support innovators.

https://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/31931/20210626/nuclear-batteries-solution-safe-efficient-carbon-free-electricity-systems.htm

https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/what-is-a-battery/all

https://ndb.technology/technology

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Taco Bell and the reinvention of Drive-Thru concept

Reading Time: 3 minutes

by Lev Hladush

It is safe to say that Covid-19 pandemic changed the way we live forever, but probably the biggest changes affected the restaurants and food consumption. A lot of people prefer taking out to eating in, especially if it is a fast food chain restaurant, not a regular. It leaves them with two options – order food digitally with the help of official or third-party applications like Uber Eats and then wait for the delivery straight to their place. But initial spike in popularity of such method is decreasing, because more and more customers are unsatisfied with the cost of delivery fees. Actually, both customers AND restaurants are unsatisfied – restaurants are charged too, and sometimes their profit is cut by more than two times because of the fees. However, we also have a second option – Drive Thrus. A record breaking 90% of sales in McDonalds USA is made at the drive thru windows. And fast food restaurants are doing a lot to improve the efficiency of this method and to shorten the wait time. Many QSR(quick serving restaurants) are reducing the number of menu items present on the display or invest in permanent structure renovations of their buildings to add more driving lanes and reduce the sitting space in halls. And out of all the companies, Taco Bell are the ones who are embodying the most fundamental changes.

Firstly, they are opening the so-called Taco Bell Go Mobile locations, which will get rid of dining room alltogether, resulting in a building that is 47% smaller than a traditional Taco Bell restaurant.

But much more interesting thing is their first of its kind restaurant Taco Bell hopes to build in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. The franchisee claims that Taco Bell Defy is a concept “so different that it has never been constructed anywhere before.” There is no dining room. There are designated curbside pickup spots for mobile orders. And it has four drive-thru lanes(one lane for over-sized vehicles and three lanes passing directly beneath where the kitchen is, with orders getting lowered to the customers on a special elevator system. What is even more impressive is that Taco Bell is willing to cooperate with other fast food chains, to work as the cooking facility for them to prepare food on the same kitchen for different companies as a ‘ghost kitchen’. If it is successful, then they can enlarge their production capacities simply by prolonging the building itself, thus creating more space for more driving lanes for more customers. So the whole process is like a snow ball, or an avalanche.

It would also lower the costs of delivery, because instead of going to different places for different restaurants, the delivery driver can pick up all the delivery order from one window. Plus if the place becomes large enough it can even launch it’s own app-delivery service and reject third-party delivery apps alltogether.

Other commercial businesses could use this concept as well. The highest cost of delivery for companies like Amazon is the ‘last mile’, when packages are shipped directly to the home address of client. So having such a contactless distribution center capable of serving personal vehicles would come in handy for grocery stores, furniture stores and, in general, multi-purpose companies like Amazon or IKEA.

All in all, even though Taco Bell Defy is yet to open(approximately it will happen this summer), if everything goes the right way, we can expect that once again certain shopping habits and aspects that we were and are used to will transform drastically.

Sources:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbuoZYZLipc&t=760s&ab_channel=TheFoodTheorists
https://www.foodandwine.com/news/taco-bell-defy-restaurant-drive-thru-concept
https://www.restaurantdive.com/news/taco-bell-franchisee-plans-2-story-store-with-4-drive-thru-lanes-in-minneso/594928/

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No users – only “useds”

Reading Time: 2 minutes

by Lev Hladush

Richard Matthew Stallman, an American free software movement activist and programmer, has said that social media sites don’t have users – they have useds. The primary reasons for sites like Facebook to exist is to generate revenue for the company and they have two main ways of doing so. First way is by using their webpage as a terminal for advertisements. Second way is gathering as much data about their consumers or users as possible and then selling to any interested company.

In the first case, to maximize revenue, users are manipulated to stay online, giving as much eyeball time to the ads as possible. Algorithms that allow specific targeting in order to cause strong emotions to keep people engaged, dopamine-inducing things like count of your subscribers or likes on your posts. All of it has the sole purpose – consuming more of your time. Thus, converting your time into profit(don’t forget that 98% of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertisers)

In the second case, things get a bit trickier. Facebook doesn’t sell your data directly. Instead, what they do sell is access to a platform that makes it as easy as possible for advertisers to reach you based on your interests. And creation of Metaverse(which has already been discussed in numerous posts previously on technoblog, so I believe there is no need to explain what is it exactly) allows to gather even more data. And more data makes good business sense. But there are (in my opinion, well-founded) fears that the new data we create in the Metaverse could lead to a privacy nightmare. For example, Facebook made a big deal about the fact that it’s not going to be doing facial recognition on photos that you upload to Facebook anymore. But it hasn’t said it’s not going to do facial recognitions in Metaverse. For sure, generating more data is not necessarily harmful, but it could give companies like Facebook an unprecedented amount of control.

Knowing this all, the scenario shown in this video seems quite believable.

Sources used:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daoCwHARvGo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bolyiGMcjBs&t=263s

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Fab Labs and the wonders of digital fabrication

Reading Time: 4 minutes

by Lev Hladush

In my previous article, UNIT.CITY AND THE FUTURE OF TECHNOPARKS, I briefly mentioned FabLab Fabricator – a lab of rapid prototyping and R&D. At that time I didn’t know that around 2,000 more such laboratories already exist in the world. This topic seemed to be interesting and worthy of further research. And after closer examination, I am ready to say that fab labs can change the way we perceive production of goods completely.

So what is “fab lab”?

The idea of fab labs was conceived by inventor and scientist Neil Gershenfeld, who is a professor at MIT and the director of MIT’s Center of Bits and Atoms. His idea was a simple one: to provide the environment, skills, advanced materials and technology to make things cheaply and quickly anywhere in the world, and to make this available on a local basis to entrepreneurs, students, artists, small businesses and in fact, anyone who wants to create something new or bespoke. The goal is to personalise fabrication.

Neil Gershenfelfd(on the left)

The first ever FabLab could provide the number of most-used tools and processest, including 3-D printing, scanning, and design; laser cutting, machining, molding, and casting; and electronics production, assembly, and programming. 

Nowadays, the range is much wider. Flexible manufacturing equipment within a fab lab may include:

  • Mainly, a rapid prototyper: typically a 3D printer of plastic or plaster parts
  • 3-axis CNC machines: 3 or more axes, computer-controlled subtractive milling or turning machines
  • Printed circuit board milling or etching: two-dimensional, high precision milling to create circuit traces in pre-clad copper boards
  • Microprocessor and digital electronics design, assembly, and test stations
  • Cutters, for sheet material: laser cutter, plasma cutter, water jet cutter, knife cutter.

In his interview with Discover Magazine on the question what personal fabrication might be useful for, Gershenfeld said, “There is a surprising need for emergent technologies in many of the least developed places on the planet. While our needs might be fairly well met, there are billions of people on the planet whose needs are not. Their problems don’t need incremental tweaks in current technology, but a revolution”.

But even for the conventional businesses there are a lot of benefits to use fab labs. From the managerial and economical point of view it includes: reducing product cost, optimizing production process, getting your employees acquainted with modern technologies. Fab lab is a creative environment for startups, entrepreneurs, innovators, enthusiasts, craftsmen, artists, designers, engineers, scientists. While creativity can’t be measured in money, it is certainly a big plus for the company. And these are just the main points, the list goes on and on.

A fine example – FabLab Fabricator

FabLab Fabrcator is a fabrication laboratory located in Kyiv, Ukriane.

They haven’t been on the market for a long time, but they already have a number of customers, mainly innovative and intriguing start-ups(such as nuka, PetCube and RAWR).

The core distinction between FabLab Fabricator and other companies in this sphere is that FabLab Fabricator focuses not only on production. They have three explicit goals:

1. Education

FabLab Fabricator conduct different educational courses, both fee-paying and free-of-charge. Level of complexity also varies, so it does not matter if people who take these courses are familiar with the such processes as 3D printing, laser cutting or wood carving or not. Anyone can find something for themselves.

2. R&D

Even supposing that you don’t have a project ready for production immediately, the R&D team scientists possess skills needed to translate it to reality in a month or two.

3. Small-scale 3D printing

This advantage is not unique to FabLab Fabricator. It is common among many the fabrication laboratories around the globe. Yet, it is still a strong argument backing the choice of this particular type of production facility.

What’s with the vision for the future of fabrication?

More or less, the whole concept is already established. The future steps for Neil Gershenfeld and his team is to beat the last major issue – heavy reliance on a global supply chain for their inputs – fabrication labs can’t yet make things like integrated circuits or precision bearings. The solution they have is extremely simple but very original. Rapid prototyping of rapid prototyping so that a fab lab can make a fab lab. After that, citing the Neil once again: “We’re replacing additive and subtractive processes with assembly and disassembly to create the full range of technologies from a small set of building blocks, as happens in biological systems. And, finally, we’re eliminating the distinction between machines and materials by coding the construction of self-reproducing systems.”

Of my own, I would also add that it is important to expand the network of laboratories. Ideally having one in each major city. All in all, it is not hard to understand that all business are part of interlinked system, forming the local and global economics like a clockwork. Access to instruments, knowledge and teaching of practical and technical skills provided by fab labs will boost local makers and start-ups courage to think and create their own projects, which in return will promote economical growth.

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Unit.City and the future of technoparks

Reading Time: 3 minutes

by Lev Hladush

Logo is very simple, yet practical

Unit.City is the first innovation park(also known as technoparks, science parks or technopoles) in Ukraine. As description from the official website says:

UNIT.City is a prototype for the city of the future. An ecosystem that promotes innovative entrepreneurship and research. As well as the creation of companies successful in the global market.

Advanced technologies of urban infrastructure are tested and implemented here, in particular in such areas as transport and micromobility, unmanned logistics, energy efficiency, automated security, telecommunications, landscaping, and the like. By collaborating with promising startups, we create an innovative environment where the best ideas about comfort and functionality are brought to life.

The key difference from the most of technoparks around the world(which, because of strong bonds with governments and universites, are rarely interested in actual demands of market) is that Unit.City is completely private initiative created by Vasyl Khmelnytsky – a Ukrainian businessman and founder of holding company UFuture. Unit.City is specifically targeting two types of customers: Firstly, ambitious start-ups made by young entrepreneurs with the prospects of their development and possible future profits, thus improving the economical situation in the country and preventing “brain drain”. Secondly, the people who work in such compaines themselves. The idea is to create a space, where they can learn and work, create and invent, interact witch each other, spend spare time and live life to the fullest without the need to leave the technopark.

Examples of companies

The two examples of companies, which are already using the services of Unit.City are Sensorama and FabLab Fabricator.

Sensorama specializes in creating virtual and augmented reality applications. They are working on a educational solutions for industrial firms to help their employers be more effective and involved in a working process. The company is able to provide online trainings with new equipment to make sure that workers know how to deal with it before letting them to use real analogues and much more.

FabLab Fabricator is a lab of rapid prototyping and R&D. They develop and produce prototypes, mainly for small start-ups, with technologies such as 3D printing, laser cutting, textile lab and CNC milling. The terms are short, the price is relatively cheap, and the scale of production can be really small, which is important if your company is not financially big enough to manufacture prototypes in large quantities.

How Unit.City will affect the concept of technoparks?

The experience of Unit.City shows us that technoparks serve as great opportunity both as business project to make money and as strategically vital element of developing country’s prosperity. It also boosts the commitment of youth, encouraging them to either becoming entrepreneurs or creators – scientists, engineers, programmers etc. Sooner or later the case of first ukrainian technopark will be noticed by other nations, and similar facilities will be established. The perfect outcome would be international cooperation of such institutions. If this happens, I can not even imagine the resulting growth in technology and overall prosperity of humanity, but I am sure it would be very impressive.

“It’s not that we use technology, we live technology.” – Godfrey Reggio

What can go wrong?

Despite all it’s sweet promises, there are some possible drawbacks for Unit.City.

Foremost, it is the country – Ukraine. The political and economical situation in Ukraine is quite unstable. This can scare off potential foreign investors, and even kill the desire of local businessmen to finance such projects, because instead of risking of all your funds they can relocate their assets to more stable countries in western world.

But even the idea of commercial technopark might not be as promising as in theory. The success of the whole concept relies heavily on the large number of participating companies and the good relationships between them. And this is not something you can be entirely sure of.

So, all in all, there is more positive than negative in Unit.City, but will it be triumph or failure – only future will show.

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Smart Cities

Reading Time: 2 minutesIn order to overcome the increasing problems of urbanization, a smart city is a structure consisting primarily of ICTs to create, implement and promote sustainable development activities.

In fact, the intelligent network of linked objects and computers that relay data using wireless technologies and the cloud is an integral aspect of this ICT scheme.

Using laptops and handheld computers as well as wired vehicles and homes, individuals interact with smart city environments in various ways. Pairing sensors and information with the physical infrastructure and facilities of a city will lower costs and promote resilience.

 

Why do we need smart cities?

Urbanization is a non-ending phenomenon. Today, 54% of people worldwide live in cities, a proportion that’s expected to reach 66% by 2050. Combined with the overall population growth, urbanization will add another 2.5 billion people to cities over the next three decades.

Environmental, social, and economic sustainability is a must to keep pace with this rapid expansion that is taxing our cities’ resources.

 

Copenhagen is a smart city!

A public-private partnership, ProjectZero, has been developed to encourage and support the transition of Sonderborg into a ZEROcarbon society by 2029, focusing on infrastructure, transport, urban energy supply and data/ICT. Carbon-free development and progressive urbanization have been accomplished from the early planning level to the implementation process, relying on the active participation of residents.A core goal of ProjectZero is the provision of education at all levels. People are studying how green approaches, from Kindergarten to PhD, will help them to co-create a new world. The city’s happiness is reflected explicitly in the constructive interaction between individuals. In rural areas, private homes are being upgraded with electricity, linked to green district heating, and the use of heat pumps is increasing dramatically.Trained local banks, craftsmen and real estate agents support the citizens’ green journey by offering competitive services and solutions. The journey often starts with shifting to inexpensive LED-bulbs and biking to work. Professional municipal banks, craftsmen and real estate brokers promote the green path of individuals by offering competitive instruments and tactics. The journey also begins by switching and cycling to work to cheap LED-bulbs.

 

Sources: https://easyelectriclife.groupe.renault.com/en/outlook/cities-planning/smart-cities-top-5-smartest-cities-world/

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DRONE PROTECTION SYSTEM

Reading Time: 2 minutesOver past years, drones evolved from an underdeveloped dream to highly advanced tool that is widely available. As a result, many companies thought of different ways to implement drones to their businesses. The new idea brought by Amazon or UPS is being able to deliver goods using drone technology. Undoubtedly, this project seems to be a huge step forward of delivery service. Nonetheless, Nirupam Roy and Nakul Garg, a pair of engineers at the University of Maryland, are afraid that drone deliveries will be frequent target of vandalism. As we know, a well-aimed stone or tennis ball can easily take a drone down. Therefore, the men decided to build a lightweight self-defence mechanism which lets a drone get out of the way of missile.

Dr Roy and Mr Garg think that they can replace power-hungry radar antennae or spinning lidar units by harnesses sound waves and the Doppler effect. The pair plan to equip drones with diminutive loudspeakers which would broadcast an ultrasonic tone outward from the drone. Also, those tiny microphones would listen for reflection for incoming objects. All those actions would give a chance to recognise the incoming threat and thus permit the drone to get out of its way.

Dr Roy and Mr Garg called their new invention DopplerDodge drone defence system. To test it, they have been throwing objects of various sizes at it and found out that system detects objects from distances of up to four metres away. However, the two researchers will attempt to raise the detection range to 30 meters, what will make drones impossible to hit by any irritated neighbour.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2020/02/27/as-delivery-drones-multiply-they-may-need-to-protect-themselves

 

 

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The Vision of Tomorrow

Reading Time: 3 minutesImage result for mercedes avtr

From the myriad of new technologies and innovations presented at CES, the world’s largest electronics show in Las Vegas, there was one concept that stood out in the spotlight – Mercedes-Benz VISION AVTR. This advanced vision transportation, inspired by James Cameron’s iconic movie, Avatar, is part of the Mercedes-Benz strategic agenda for the next years, which strives for a more sustainable future. The connection to the film results from its essential message: the Mercedes-Benz plan’s line of reasoning perfectly fits with Avatar’s environmental and spiritual themes. During the reveal, James Cameron, the director of Avatar, joint with Mercedes-Benz members, highlighted the importance of sustainability and coexistence of technology and humans not interrupting the development of nature.

 

This futuristic concept vehicle is said to be entirely eco-friendly. It is electric, carbon-neutral, and supposed to interact with the surrounding world. The exterior design of the car is supposed to blend in with nature. After opening, the doors are designed in a way to imitate the dragonfly, and at the back of the car are located 33 individual hatches that resemble breathing scales on a reptile.

Related image

The futuristic design even extends to the interior part of the vehicle, as there is no steering wheel, and it is driven using biometrics. You are one with the car. This concept of using a driver’s biometrics is adapted straight from the Avatar movie and should imitate the symbiotic relationship between the driver and the vehicle. The comfort and infotainment of electronics in this vehicle are based on the driver’s hand, as by waving gesture, we are able to drive the car.

 

After getting in, the system of control lights up on your right hand, and by gestures and waving, you can operate this eye-popping vehicle. By touching the element in the center of the car, it wakes up. The lights and element go up and down to imitate breathing and heartbeat. Not only does this car drive straight and backward as a regular car, but it also has an ability to drive sideways. Large odd flamboyant wheels enable this car to move, little resembling crab-walk, perpendicularly. The vehicle went through the real-life test on the roads of Las Vegas and proved itself to be ready to hit the streets to saturate them with the aspirational and eco-friendly idea of the future.

 

 

The presence of James Cameron and his collaboration with Mercedes-Benz is not only all about sustainability, but also the longly-awaited sequel of Avatar movie. Whether it is just a costly marketing or a real car that could be seen in some time on the market and roads, we cannot argue that it is a successful fulfillment of the statement “Vision of Tomorrow.”

 

Resources:

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Google Stadia – future of gaming or just another trend that will fade away?

Reading Time: 3 minutesWhat is Google Stadia and why is it revolutionary? Google Stadia is “a cloud gaming service operated by Google”. It allows playing and streaming games by fulfilling only 2 conditions: stable, high-speed internet connection and a single device. One of many to choose from: Google Chrome web browser, Pixel smartphone, Chrome OS and a special device Chromecast or a TV+controller set-up. These are not the most excessive demands. Basically, most people who game on a daily basis or stream it have access to both of them (most common and easily accessible would be Google Chrome web browser downloadable for free). Of course, you have to buy an Edition of Stadia (either Founders or Premiere) and later there is a subscription fee for using Stadia Pro. At launch, Premiere Edition was 119 pounds and subscription was 8.99 pounds per month.

It is revolutionary because we can play our favorite library of games from any place in the world without bringing our expensive gear PC or laptop. We can (theoretically) get rid of those at all if we want to rely simply on using Google games library. We can enjoy our favorite games from anywhere we want if the connection is quick enough and we have a proper subscription. Then we can stream at 60fps in 4k quality. That is the “sweet spot” for gamers. Of course, a person needs a controller either Xbox or PS4 dualshock. There is also a Google Stadia controller designed by Google. It has a few tricks up its sleeve. For instance, it has a built-in mic (with google assistant), responds quicker with the cloud or lets users take videos and pictures which instantly appear in Stadia app on smartphones.

Other companies such as Microsoft are developing something similar but Google launched their product first of the bunch. And it was not flawless. There were many issues that have disappointed the users close after launch.

To name a few the library was very limited at launch – just 22 games. There were a lot of issues with streaming, even high-speed stable connections were not enough and caused lag (or audio-lag) or connectivity problems. The Google Chromecast device seemed to overheat. There were instances that some games were able to break the hardware to the point of the necessity of buying a new one. Adding to that we need to buy the games from the store. So if we had any e.g. steam, uplay or origin based libraries we cannot use them. All the games must be purchased from google’s library.

Ultimately the main benefits of Stadia are the flexibility and the absence of the “box” under our TV. We just need a compatible controller of some sort, high-speed connection and a TV screen to play or stream our favorite games. In that fashion, we can do that all over the World if we fulfill those conditions. It is revolutionary and it might have a bright future. There is a low chance this direction will make gaming gear (PC’S, laptops, consoles) obsolete. But will Google Stadia build its userbase and improve the product by giving more possibilities? Will it add to it so we, as gamers, can throw our PC’s to trash or let them grab dust? Or will the connectivity and hardware issues burry the project deep in history to serve as another meme?? Only time will tell.

 

Sources:

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/google-stadia-review

https://stadia.dev/

https://www.techradar.com/reviews/google-stadia

https://www.theguardian.com/games/2019/nov/18/google-stadia-review-gylt

https://www.forbes.com/sites/paultassi/2019/11/18/google-stadia-launch-review-a-technical-conceptual-disaster/

https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/11/20/google-stadia-review

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Stadia

Picture:

https://www.wprost.pl/_thumb/bd/ca/395d92dd5f74c9c18472c6ca1e00.jpeg

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ECO GARDEN: THE SMARTEST INTERACTIVE ECO SYSTEM

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The EcoGarden is a combination of a smart miniature greenhouse and a self-cleaning aquarium. This system helps you to grow up herbs or vegetables. What is the most exciting is that you can monitor and control your ecosystem remotely from your phone and it also gives you whole information about condition of your garden. Also, you can feed your fish or check temperature in aquarium.

So, how it works? 

‘Aquaponics’ – growing technique which uses the fish waste as the nutrient source for the plants, while the plants naturally filters the water which is recirculated back to the fish. A natural and effective way of cleaning your aquarium, creating the ultimate self-sustaining and resource efficient ecosystem where plants and fish live in symbiosis. It is absolutely eco-friendly, because it does not requires soil or chemical fertilizers.

Creators say that they want to grow smarter and more eco-friendly generation that will love nature and know how to behave with animals and plants.

Eco-garden has a plenty of benefits:

  • it is automated and very functional
  • has a nice design
  • fresh & organic produce
  • friendly with a nature

Today more and more people start to live in big city with busy lifestyle polluted environment. Therefore, people, who live in huge cities, can feel nature in their home. It is the best solution for all ages also, especially for children.

To conclude my words, I would say that our planet has enormous problem about over-population and air pollution. So, eco-garden can make your air fresh and atmosphere in your house greener.

References:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ecogarden-world-s-smartest-interactive-ecosystem#/

and my own words))

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