Solar panel Stories February 25, 2014

Crowdsource update: SunSprite, the solar-powered wearable aimed at geeks

With all the focus on skin cancer caused by too much exposure to sunlight, you might expect a UV-measurement gadget to be designed to warn you when you’ve spent too long in the sun. But no, the SunSprite has the opposite goal: it’s aimed at those who spend all their time indoors, and don’t get enough time in the sun. Or, to put it more concisely, geeks.

Sunlight plays a role in both mood and sleep patterns. The SunSprite measures exposure to both visible and UV light, and uses LEDs to indicate when you’ve met your daily goal of having spent enough time outside. It also communicates with a companion iPhone app. The retail price is a rather hefty $149, but early bird Indiegogo backers can get one for $89.

A neat thing about it is the same sunlight it measures also powers the device. The low energy requirements of the SunSprite mean that just a few minutes of sunlight provide enough energy to power the gadget for a week.

With some rumors suggesting that the iWatch may incorporate solar panels, perhaps this is one more health-based sensor Apple could include?

There’s a longer video that goes into more detail below.

Solar panel Stories January 29, 2014

There has long been speculation about Apple incorporating a solar panel into its products, both for environmental reasons and to boost battery-life. There have been Mobile-Solar Apple Jobs that have vanished after discovery, tons of patents, trial rumors and of course the Solar effort/expertise on Apple’s Data Centers and new Campus 2 building. This week, Seeking Alpha has a highly speculative piece by Matt Margolis suggesting that the evidence may be mounting for the iPhone 6 being the product Apple uses to bring the Solar idea to market.

Before we get too far into the speculation, it is worthwhile to note that the surface area of an iPhone would hardly be enough to keep a charge let alone recharge a phone even with the most efficient solar technology in labs today. However, all of the evidence weighed together might make you forget all of that ‘science’…

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Solar panel Stories October 31, 2013

An innovative approach to solar charging revealed in an Apple patent application published today (via Patently Apple) could make it more practical to power both MacBooks and iOS devices from the sun.

The voltage and power generated by a solar panel varies with the amount of sunlight. To turn the power supply into something that can safely be used by an electronic device, you need a converter or regulator to deliver the correct specs to the device, adding cost and bulk to the panel.

What the Apple patent describes is building the necessary power management circuitry into the MacBook, iPad or iPhone so that it can accept whatever power the panel supplies. This potentially allows for cheaper and more portable panels …  expand full story

The best 4K & 5K displays for Mac

Solar panel Stories September 13, 2013

Update: Apple has removed the job listing from its website, but we grabbed a screenshot below.

Apple appears to be investigating the use of thin film solar technology for future mobile products with a new job listing on the company’s website looking to hire an engineer with experience in the solar industry. The thin films engineer would join Apple’s Mobile Devices group and “assist in the development and refinement of thin films technologies applicable to electronic systems.” The job listing adds some proof to rumors in recent years that Apple was evaluating the use of solar panels for future products.

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Solar panel Stories July 4, 2013

Eton Rukus solar/speakerGoalZero 7W foldable, and Gomatic 10W Sunvolt

This year, the solar charging options have really improved for those who need to charge their iOS (or any) devices away from a wall outlet or car. The three products below are some of the more interesting we’ve seen. expand full story

Solar panel Stories January 7, 2013

Eton, a company known for its hand-cranked, turbine-powered radios and audio accessories, today announced a few interesting new solar powered products for iOS devices. The new lineup includes the Rugged Rukus, and the Rukus XL (pictured above), two new solar-powered Bluetooth speakers, both of which include the ability to charge devices through a built-in USB port and more. For those familiar with Eton’s already available Rukus Solar speaker, the new models are essentially its bigger and smaller siblings, but definitely left us impressed at the CES Unveiled event… expand full story

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