Solar gadget company Changers recently announced the launch of the Changers System, which is what it calls its “online Social Energy Marketplace,” a system that allows people to generate solar energy via a solar charger, calculate the amount of energy stored in the charger, and get monetary reward for that energy. The idea is that to really drive home the importance of renewable energy, systems like carbon-offset plans need to be more tangible and more rewarding for people to become involved.
The process works like this: Changers provides the Changers Starter Kit to customers, which includes the Changers Kalhuohfummi battery (which looks like a cute little Cyclops) and the Changers Maroshi, a flexible solar panel that is claimed to fully charge the Kalhuofummi battery in four hours.
The battery, in turn, charges electronic devices like tablets, smartphones and mp3 players. Statistics about how much energy comes from solar and how much carbon dioxide has been saved are provided, and consumers can upload these statistics to social networking sites. Additionally, the amount of solar energy generated is converted into Changers Credits, which can be redeemed on the Changers Marketplace with partnering retail companies.
Markus Schulz, co-founder and CEO of Changers, sees the inclusion of hard data and rewards as integral in getting people to embrace renewable energies by allowing customers to see exactly what impact their energy use has. The integration of social media reflects the idea of planet-wide interconnectivity, and the importance of reducing carbon footprints. “Each of us takes it for granted that we have limitless energy on tap, and as a result we have become completely disconnected from how our actual energy usage impacts the planet,” he said. “We think that if you can unite people in the pursuit of renewable energy — even small amounts of energy — it will lead to a dramatic transformation in how we source and consume energy.”
The Starter Kit is currently available for pre-order with a $149 price tag, and is planned to be delivered within a few weeks.