Computer peripherals are a great space for manufacturers to get creative - the KiiBOOM Phantom 81 looks like a glowing candy bar, Razer is consistently putting out funky and fresh keyboards, and there’s no better place to showcase cool peripheral designs than CES 2024.
Lenovo has so far stolen the show (in my opinion) by debuting a new mouse and keyboard combo design called the Mechanical Energy Harvesting Combo - a product that would use mechanical typing movement and solar energy to power both the mouse and keyboard!
This is only a proof of concept, so it’s probably nowhere near ready for consumers to purchase and use, but it's an incredibly exciting development when it comes to environmentally friendly built-to-last technology.
According to Lenovo, the mouse has a small hand crank at the bottom of it that you can turn a few times and boom! The wireless device has enough power to be used for around 30 minutes, more depending on how much time you dedicate to ‘charging’ it up.
PC World goes into more detail as to how the keyboard is powered, stating that it has two alternate power sources; one being a bank of solar panels that can help charge it and a dial on the top left corner of the keyboard that you use similarly to the crank on the mouse. Spin the little dial for a few minutes and power the keyboard for 30 minutes.
CES may have only just started, and we’re bound to see so much more cool and crazy technology at the event in Las Vegas, but this is probably one of my favourite tech drops (even in concept) ever!
Not only does the Mechanical Energy Harvesting Combo act as the anti-planned obsolescence device, but it maintains a fun – but simple – design while pioneering built-to-last technology. Depending on how Lenovo follows through on the concept you could potentially buy this combo and never have to buy another mouse and keyboard - ever. You're never going to have to worry about battery replacements or broken and missing cables.
I could easily see the Mechanical Energy Harvesting combo sitting in our best keyboards list just on its longevity alone. Sustainable technology will be a big theme at CES 2024 and I hope we see more products and companies go down the same route and showcase the commitment Lenovo is showing to thinking not just about the consumer experience, but the long-term environmental impact of its products and their impacts on the planet.
We’re covering all of the latest CES news from the show as it happens. Stick with us for the big stories on everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops, smart home gadgets, and the latest in AI.
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Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison.
Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place.
Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).