The most noticeable and significant trends in the technology market are declining prices. True for years, but recently the trend seems to be accelerating. Major brand-name manufacturers are creating systems with amazing specifications: more power, more speed, more memory, more disk storage space, all at incredible prices. The faster technology evolves, the lower the prices. This may be related to a second trend, which is that the computer as a throw-away appliance.

By bringing these two trends to the business and the corporative world one can analyze the consequences of this wild technological consumption. Take into consideration the product cost; this is acquisition cost only. However, companies, for a long time now, have come to the understanding that the acquisition cost is a small portion of the expenses involved with owning a product. For example, the small photo printer. Its acquisition cost is a trifling sum. However the cost to maintain it and keep it working includes buying photo paper, ink cartridges, etc., at an extremely exorbitant cost.

Companies and individuals have been spending an enormous amount of money on maintenance to keep using devices that in the most cases have more power and capacity than they need.

A genuine concern about technology also remains an environmental issue. To help preserve the environment is to increase the MTBF (mean time between failure). Increasing the “lifetime” of IT equipment goes in the opposite direction of the consuming trend that suggests “don’t bother fixing, throw it away and buy a new device!”

Mother Nature is bearing the consequences of the throw-away tendency. Lots of natural resources are burned to manufacture electronic products: charcoal burning to produce power to the industries and fuel during transportation are increasing CO emission, and water used to wash components during the production line is polluting drinkable water resources.

The problems with disposal electronics are even worse. Electronic equipment contains materials that can be hazardous to human health and the environment. Computer monitors contain an average of four pounds of lead and require special handling at the end of their lives. Electronics can also contain chromium, cadmium, mercury, beryllium, nickel, zinc, and brominated flame-retardants.

Electronics comprise approximately 1-4 percent of a municipal solid waste stream around U.S. The National Safety Council projects that nearly 250 million computers will become obsolete in the next five years, so the number of computers that need to be disposed of will continue to grow.

The ideal solution would be to recycle all the materials, but recovering this type of equipment requires specialized services, and the recycling capacity is small compared to the rate of consumption.

ThinGlobal is a company that cares about the environment, developing and manufacturing sustainable computing solutions that consume less electrical energy and reduce industrial waste. ThinGlobal’s products reduce the threat to the environment. By increasing the usable life of its products (by three times), lessen the number of components inside its devices (the WeeClient Plus has 85% fewer parts than a regular PC), and decreasing the electrical consumption (MiniPoint uses only a few watts).

A third trend is connectivity. Everybody connects to the Internet. From home users to huge companies, it is impossible to work in this era without Internet access.

The need to reduce the disposal of electronic equipment and the fact that users’ content can be stored in the “cloud”, using thin clients and MultitSeat technology is the more logical and “green” option.

ThinGlobal’s products deliver updated technology, using high-quality solutions to meet its needs and sustaining the environment at the same time.

Eliane Lignelli

Executive Manager