Solar Powered iPhone:
The Kickstarter I would do… but you should do instead.
Yes. There are solar iphone chargers that already exist. These are marketed to backpackers. They are light and portable. They solve a very specific problem if you are “out and about” in the world (hiking, camping, etc). There are also Kickstarter versions of these.
An important point to keep in mind: Power is a ‘use it or lose it’ proposition. Or — you can store it. Solar panels are not batteries. And most products today require being out in the sun and actively plugging in and charging your device to take advantage of the solar energy being created.
I plug in my phone every single night. EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT.
The key word there is “night.” These solar panels won’t do me any good in my regular routine. I rarely plug my phone in when I’m walking around.
But look what we have: There are consumer size and cheap solar panels. They range in price from $50 to $100. These don’t need professional installation. They can be mounted much like a picture frame. Note the lack of ‘Apple design.’
This is totally un-appealing to the Kickstarter creative class. They want things that are pure white. Have a blue glowing bulb somewhere and rounded edges. Maybe it needs a sleek Ikea-esque stand. You know exactly what I’m talking about! You can already see the design for the corresponding app that is relatively superfluous but makes you feel connected to the device and information about its current functioning.
The solar panel is installed on your outside wall, aimed at the morning sun.
And it’s connected to a device that transfers electricity wirelessly. Yes. Wirelessly transferring electricity. This is not sci-fi. This is in many Starbucks now.
The wireless energy is transferred to a docking station on your night stand. And there, the battery is charged up whenever the sun is out. And that battery charges your phone.
Your phone is now off the grid, not just when you backpack. But all the time.
Cue Kickstarter video. Happy/cheesy music. Some stats about carbon emissions. Stock photos of multi-racial people giving a presentation and women smiling while eating salad. An attractive young woman checking out the app on her phone which tells her that her home battery is fully charged. She is empowered. She is in charge of her life. (Voice over describes the processes and app features in more detail).
Not as ambitious as Solar Roadways. But also not as unfeasible. This relies on technology that is already here. And in fact, commonplace.
Somebody contact BakerCamp. We got a live one!