iPhone Solar Charger A Big Power Booster

In late December, we reported on a new charger for the iPhone 4 that promised to use the power of the sun to protect users from the dreaded dead battery. Developed by GreenSimian, the brainchild of two Seattle veterans from Microsoft and Texas Instruments, SolMate for iPhone 4/4S is the first product said to deliver reliable, portable power in a sustainable package.

Made right in here in the United States and milled from a single aluminum block, the form-fitting SolMate casing allows your phone to harvest solar power in multiple ways; a Qi (Chee) inductive charging chip, a powerful 18 percent-efficient solar cell, a custom 1600 mA lithium-ion battery and proprietary power management electronics and software that replicates utility-scale solar power plant in the palm of your hands.

SolMate

image via GreenSimian

GreenSimian claims that SolMate’s solar technology will generate up 30 percent additional uptime of the native iPhone battery on an average daily use, while its backup battery will doubles the iPhone’s battery life.

“SolMate is not another iPhone casing.  It’s a seductive combination of software, microelectronics and power-generating semi-conductors that take mobile power to a new level,” said Jamie Wojcik, GreenSimian CTO and co-founder.

So far, it looks like iPhone users have been seduced: over 330 of them have pledged $49,395 through Kickstarter to help make the SolMate a reality. Since the company’s goal was to raise $30,000 by late February, it looks like all of those backers will soon be enjoying their SolMates!

SolMate improvements

image via GreenSimian

However, there’s still time to get in on the action if you’d love to have an iPhone powered by the sun. Technology enthusiasts can pre-order a SolMate in exchange for a $99 Kickstarter pledge.

Encouraged by the success of its crowdfunding campaign, the company is planning on delivering a slew of additional products in the next 12 months that will address the growing needs of smartphone users who want “on-the-go” power solutions. The company’s SolCurve technology will be used to power its device line up.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog