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SolarFan Gives your Gadgets Sun Power

As long as Apple keeps making mobile devices with relatively poor battery life, designers will conceptualize alternative ways of charging their phones (like the windmill or bio-chemical variety). Leave it to the Japanese to not just come up with a concept, but to actually build an eco-friendly charger that's just as portable as your gadget.

It's called the SolarFan, a charging system developed specifically for mobile devices. When not in use, it's about the size of a PSP, and fits in your pocket. When it's time to charge, though, you simply mount the SolarFan on its tripod, and fan its panels out to help it gather more sunlight.

It's not just the design that makes the SolarFan unique: each of its four solar panels features 1,900 spherical solar cells developed by a Kyoto firm called Clean Venture 21. The new technology lends a level of flexibility that simply can't be found on standard silicon photovoltaic cells. This is also featured in another ambientec charger, the SolarFold.

Remember though, solar power isn't exactly efficient: according to Ambientec CEO Yoshinori Kuno, a ten minute charge from either the SolarFold or SolarFan gives you about three minutes of talk time. Hey, maybe you just need more SolarFans? If that's the case, then visit Ambientec and drop the requisite $268 for each. Yes, it's pricey, but would you rather use sunflowers instead?

[source: Ambientec via Diginfo News]