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The Open Planet Ideas website is a collaborative platform that is inviting people with a range of skills and perspectives on technology to bring them to bear on sustainability and the environment.

The website is backed by Sony and conservation group WWF and offers those taking part the chance to get their ideas in front of some of Sony’s most senior engineers and technologists.

The final winner will work with Sony’s research and development team to develop their concept further.

Participants are given a menu of existing Sony technologies for inspiration and are invited to come up with new ways that they could be used, either individually – or in innovative combinations – to meet key environmental challenges.

The technologies on offer include wireless microphones, advanced solar cells, presence-sensing software and even the Sony PSP handheld console, which in this context is a powerful, multi-functional portable media device.

The initial ‘inspiration’ phase of the process has already honed down hundreds of suggestions into six themes that form the basis of the challenge.

These include the use of technology to promote recycling, to aid sustainable design, to enable greater energy efficiency and to help people make ‘green choices’ in their everyday lives.

Sony and WWF are inviting individuals, companies and groups to join Open Planet Ideas at its ‘concepting’ phase by contributing their own ideas, and by suggesting how those already posted could be refined and improved.

The website closes for concepts on 29 November and the submissions will be examined by an expert panel that includes senior representatives of Sony and WWF.

The concepts rated the most promising by the panel and the online community will be taken forward for detailed evaluation of their technical and environmental merits, before the final idea, that will be progressed to realisation stage, is announced in January 2011.

Sony’s research and development team will then work with those that have contributed to the final idea to progress it to a proof-of-concept stage.

Grayling PR (Lexington Office)

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