It’s an intriguing concept, putting a solar panel on the reverse side of a mirror, then affixing it to the rear-view mirror. After all, that’s where all the sunlight is, outside the windshield. Add a GPS positioning system to the side facing the driver, integrated into the superlatively shiny surface, and you have a concept that catches hold with the teeth.
From designer Juen Bang Lai, via Coroflot, an online platform for designers and artists to display their portfolios and inventions, comes this many-in-one device that includes—in addition to a solar panel, mirror and GPS (or portable navigation device, if you prefer)—a Blue Tooth earphone, a camera module and a driving recorder module, all cunningly mounted via a mounting/locking device consisting of magnets and an Allen fastener.
In spite of its multifunctionality, Lai’s device is unobtrusive enough to allow drivers to see clearly out any focal point on the windshield, and mounted at a level that makes viewing, and keypadding, simplicity itself. And for those who love gadgets, this will be a treasure simply because of its multifaceted approach to 21st century electronic gadgetry.
But is it as clever as the AIRE mask, which recharges electronic devices using the kinetic energy of breathing? We think not. Nor can it compare to carbon nanotube-permeated fabrics which convert body heat to energy to charge cell phones and the like. For sheer versatility, it still can’t beat the Guide 10 Adventure Kit, which already exists in the real world and provides everything an intrepid explorer might want (except the kitchen sink). And it’s never likely to be as popular among music lovers as the SoliCharger-SP, a solar charger with an affordable price tag ($59.95) that boosts the volume on your MP3 for an instant beach or backyard party. Now, who can make a run for beer?