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: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

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!

This new all-in-one flashlight is a power bank, lighter, and screwdriver

The Pyyros modular flashlight can perform numerous field tasks, from hammering to starting fires. If you back it on Kickstarter now, you can score some savings on this innovative flashlight and multi-tool, but act fast: This early-bird…

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

The Surface Go vs. 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.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Smart Home

Miele stuns KBIS 2019 with wireless probe, self-descaling java pot, and more

Miele rocked KBIS 2019 with waves of new appliances and features. The annual Kitchen and Bathroom Industry Show is all about product launches and Miele's appliance reveal was like New York Fashion Week with a single designer.
Smart Home

Amazon’s wall clock is back on the market after Bluetooth snafus

Amazon's Alexa-enabled Wall Clock was a minor disaster when it was finally released in December because of widespread Bluetooth connectivity challenges. After some tweaks, it's now back on sale for $30.
Smart Home

The Nest Secure included a microphone no one knew about — except Google

The Nest Secure home security system has had a microphone this entire time that no one knew about, except Google. The company claims the mic was never turned on, but customers are outraged.

From folding phones to 5G -- here's everything we saw at Galaxy Unpacked

Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event treated us to a real parade of technological excellence, from folding phones to new fitness wearables. Here's everything we saw at Galaxy Unpacked on February 20.
Smart Home

Leviton’s Wi-Fi Load Center and Smart Circuit Breakers give your home a brain

Is your home ready for a brain transplant? Adding individual smart plugs is quick, easy, and inexpensive, but the benefits are limited to one plug at a time. Leviton's Load Center and Smart Circuit Breakers can give your home a brain.
Smart Home

GE Appliances shows off wall oven with built-in air fryer, food dehydrator

GE Appliances is taking the air fryer trend to its logical conclusion and adding one to a wall oven. The company's new oven, on display at this year's Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, also includes a food dehydrator.
Smart Home

Google Home vs. Amazon Echo: Which one is better for you?

What happens when you compare the Google Home vs the Amazon Echo? Both smart speakers have good qualities, but what happens when you compare they're features side-by-side? We think one of these smart gadgets wins over the other.
Smart Home

OK Google, what else can you do? The best tips and tricks for Google Home

The Home functions in a similar fashion to its main competitor, the Amazon Echo, but has the added benefit of select Google services. Here are few tips to help you make the most of the newfangled device.
Home Theater

Reasons not to mount a TV over your fireplace (and other helpful tips)

Mounting a TV above your fireplace may be popular and it might even seem appealing, but we have some concerns. We've got a list of reasons why placing your digital picture machine over a fire should be avoided, if at all possible.
Smart Home

Colored fridges are back, baby! GE’s new appliances revive the 1950s trend

GE Appliances is coloring us surprised at KBIS 2019 by introducing new hues for its signature Cafe line of smart home appliances including four new hues launching this fall to complement its black and white options.