June 3, 2016
Smartphone batteries are infamously inadequate and, unfortunately, the products designed to combat the problem are bulky, unsightly and frankly difficult to remember to pack. And while external power sources have been all the rage in recent years, no one has cracked the case of the inconvenient design. But one company is taking on the challenge by adding the power source in question to something people carry around anyway: a notebook. Oh yeah, and it's powered by solar energy.
SolarBook is a small journal that is perfect for the sunshine-prone traveler in you. In addition to the high quality felt/leather exterior and sturdy binder rings, this journal comes with a solar panel that is only 0.7 millimeters thick and weighs only 430 grams. That is significantly smaller and lighter than comparative models on the market providing the same amount of power. Also, they look a lot less cumbersome and hideous than other models.
Yes, solar power has not been perfected. And while your doubts may have been well-founded 5 years ago, the reality is that this kind of technology is not only available but also affordable. The SolarBook boasts the highest photovoltaic conversion rate of any product on the market, using 23 percent of the energy from the sun and transferring it into electricity. That's not too bad for a notebook that's smaller than your laptop.
The charge is pretty substantial as well. While many external power sources can barely charge your smartphone faster than you can drain it, the SolarBook can fully charge an iPhone 6 in two hours. That's almost as good as a wall charger. Particularly considering you can take the SolarBook anywhere with a little bit of sunlight.
The inventors behind this technology have launched a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of acquiring the funding necessary to getting their company off the ground. And hold on to your hats, because you can get one of these marvels of Jetson-like tech for as little as $39. That's less than a case for the iPhone 6 you could be charging with your new journal.
Yes, finding another way to charge your many devices is not a breakthrough in the technology world. But the fact that a company is taking the application of solar energy seriously is enough to make this writer jump for joy. Not because it means he can charge his smartphone for 3 months a year because he lives in Chicago, but because once this technology is made more affordable and available than fossil fuels, business might actually take the health of the environment seriously. And that would be a pleasant change of pace from the last 100 years.
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