This ‘tree’ generates enough electricity to heat your apartment

newwinds arbre a vent is wind turbine designed for cities newwind tree
Drive through Kansas or Iowa, and you’ll often see tri-propeller structures dotting the pastoral landscapes. The problem with these wind turbines is that they’re noisy and unsightly. NewWind is a French company that wants to fix both those issues and bring wind power to cities.

The Arbre à Vent, or “Wind Tree,” is ultra quiet and designed to look like a tree. True, it looks more like an artist installation than something found in nature, but it’s definitely a step up from the industrial-looking wind farms. At nearly 10 feet tall, the Arbre à Vent isn’t exactly unobtrusive, though.

The tree uses 72 “aeroleaves” that act as miniature turbines, generating power from breezes. While traditional, larger turbines start turning at wind speeds of 8 or 10 miles per hour, Arbre a Vent works with lower airflow, around 4.5 miles per hour. This means they’ll typically be able to operate around 280 days a year, as opposed to larger machines’ 200 days per year, according to NewWind.

“Urban wind is not very strong, but it is very turbulent,” Arbre à Vent” engineer Julia Revuz tells CNN. “These turbines need less wind to get started and produce around 3kW of energy, which could heat a small home, fuel lights, or charge an electric car.”

NewWind Wind Tree TurbineThe $35,000 prototype will soon be on display in Paris, and NewWind plans to begin production, hopefully with more eco-friendly materials, in March. Though the trees are fairly expensive, but Revuz tells CNN that architects have expressed interest in incorporating the aeroleaves into their buildings; the small turbines are cheaper individually than buying the entire structure.

While they might stick out like a sore green thumb in suburbia, they’d probably look pretty cool draped in lights during December. Still, considering their size, cost, and power output, it might be a while before these trees sprout up in a city near you.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Health & Fitness

Still tired? Smart sleep aids can help improve your snooze

Do you snore? Toss and turn? Alternate between extremely hot and extremely cold body temperatures at night? A deluge of smart sleep technology on the market aims to help you get a better night of shut-eye.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.

Is it worth spending more for the Surface Pro, or is the Surface Go good enough?

The Surface Go versus Surface Pro -- which is better? While the higher price tag of one might make you think it's an easy choice, a deeper dive into what each offers makes it a closer race than you might assume.
Smart Home

Idaho mother says her child’s light-up sippy cup exploded

After a mother filled a Nuby insulated light-up cup with milk, the cup allegedly exploded. The incident caused burns to the mother's hand and face and a stinging sensation in her lungs that required a trip to the hospital.
Smart Home

Project Alias is a ‘smart parasite’ that stops smart speakers from listening

Two designers chose to do something about nosy smart speakers. The result is Project Alias, a "smart parasite" that whispers nonsense to Google Home and Alexa until it hears a specific wake word.
Smart Home

The Instant Pot Lux is a gateway drug into the pleasures of pressure cooking

The 3-quart Instant Pot Lux is one of the most affordable Instant Pots you can buy. Is it still a solid pressure cooker? Here are our thoughts on the Instant Pot Lux, a great IP baseline model.
Smart Home

DS3 Clean water-free swatches could be the future of cleaning products

DS3 Clean swatches were on display at CES 2019. The small swatches come in several types, including shampoo and toilet cleaner. They're great for travel, but their real impact is in how such supplies will be shipped and stored.
Smart Home

Amazon patents a technology to help Alexa fight fake voice attacks

Amazon filed a patent this month for a new technology that looks like it would help its digital assistant Alexa fight fake voice attacks that could potentially fool Alexa's biometric security protocols.
Smart Home

Amazon Prime members number more than 100 million in the U.S., survey says

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated there were 101 million U.S. Amazon Prime members as of December 31, 2018. Last April, CEO Jeff Bezos wrote there were more than 100 global million Prime members.
Smart Home

With focus on interoperability, is Nevo Butler a smarter home hub?

Universal Electronics is the latest company getting into the smart home market, announcing at CES 2019 that it intends to market the Nevo Butler, a new smart home hub with onboard A.I. and voice control technology.
Emerging Tech

Google’s radar-sensing tech could make any object smart

Computer scientists have shown how Google’s Soli sensor can be used to make dumb objects smart. Here's why radar-powered computing could finally make the dream of smart homes a reality.
Smart Home

The best air fryers deliver fried food with a fraction of the calories

What is this magical mechanism? It's an air fryer, and when used correctly, it can mimic the effects of frying while using just a little bit of oil. You still get that crispy, golden exterior and the fluffy center.
Emerging Tech

‘Tech vest’ prevents Amazon workers from colliding with robot co-workers

Amazon workers at its fulfillment centers are using "tech vests" to help protect them from collisions with their robot co-workers. The robots already have obstacle avoidance sensors, but the belt offers another layer of safety.