Weekly Tech News, Week of May 22-26, 2017

“Green” power options just got much, much cheaper. Many people love the idea of solar power as an alternate form of creating clean energy. Until now, the formidable cost of the units and the installation has made solar technology out-of-reach for the average homeowner. Now, a team at the University of Newcastle in Australia invented what may be a viable and inexpensive alternative to traditional solar panels. Paul Pastoor and his team are finalizing printed plastic solar panels.  The panels are quick to produce because they are mass-printed on plastic film. Printed electronic inks create the electricity. Thus far, they have operated well even at low light, outperforming all other solar photovoltaics. The price would be about $7.50 per tile, which is about 95% less than Elon Musk’s PV roof tile solution.  (Those retail at about $350 per tile.) The research is still in progress, but if the tiles are durable under real-life weather conditions, they may be a great, inexpensive., and environmentally-friendly way to produce cheap, green electricity.

Smart dog houses are now a thing. As an avowed dog lover, I hesitate to take my dog anywhere from April until October.  It is just too hot to leave him in the car, even with the windows down. The folks at Dog Parker understand.  They want to make it easier for dog lovers to bring their dogs anywhere without having to worry. As they put it, “This means you’ll have more freedom to go on outings without having to worry about doggie logistics.” The Dog Parker is a “smart” dog house that will be placed in front of popular storefronts.  The company has partnered with local businesses like grocery stores and coffee shops. The dog houses are interconnected and monitored remotely, and offer climate control and auto-sanitizing. The dog owner has an app that allows them to authenticate access, check availability, and even reserve a house. You can also check on your best friend as you wander through the store.  Right now, the houses are only available in New York City, but I bet that we will start seeing them nationwide soon enough.

Honorable mention this week goes to Adobe. Their new offices are amazing.  Here is a video of offices so stunning that you may want to quit your job and apply at Adobe. Thanks to the folks at TechCrunch for the update.