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CatEye Commuter – A Carbon Footprint Fail

Wired Magazine‘s “Spring Test 2010” roundup of the latest gadgets for geeks and toys for tycoons includes a new kind of bicycle computer that will not only compute your travel time, but also the amount of CO2 emissions you’ve saved by bicycling rather than driving.

Fail.

On a couple of counts. First, if I were going to have some sort of trip computer on my bicycle, I’d want one with GPS and links to optimal bicycle routes, as well as all the standard features you expect from bicycle trip computers – in addition to these time and CO2 features.

But more importantly, this CO2 emissions calculator would only make sense to me if it included in its calculations all the CO2 involved in producing, packaging, shipping and powering this useless piece of consumerist gimcrackery.

Nerdy Number Cruncher Makes Biking a Blast

There are two pressing questions every bike commuter faces: How long until I get there? And how self-righteous should I feel? CatEye’s new Commuter bike computer answers both.

Program in your trip distance, and the Commuter uses current speed to calculate your ETA. Slow down and watch the number and progress bar grow. Speed up and you’ll know how much time you can waste in GameStop on the way to work.

As for quantifying self-righteousness, the Commuter tells you how much CO2 you’re keeping out of the atmosphere by not driving. Using 2008 averages for gas-powered cars as a baseline, the unit calculates how much CO2 you would have produced for the distance you’ve pedaled. It gives you totals for the day, week, month, year and life of the computer.

(via CatEye Commuter | Wired.com Product Reviews.)

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Wearing Badges is Not Enough…

You also need a t-shirt:

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