ThinkGeek is calling it a hack, but it’s the kind that won’t get you sued or thrown in jail. What ThinkGeek is offering is a method of converting any device that runs on double-A or triple-A batteries into a solar-powered mechanism.
Called the SunMod Kit and offered at $19.99, it is made up of a flexible 4.8-volt solar photovoltaic cell with soldered metal connectors to deliver the power, and mailable packaging and double-sided tape. After reading that, I suddenly realized it sounded a lot like some of the stuff I have around my house, repurposed by my resident electronic genius into some very strange (but highly useful) shapes.
ThinkGeek developers argue that applying the process to a television remote, for instance, serves two purposes. First, since one would always need to put the remote in a sunny window for charging when not in use, it’s less likely to get lost in the furniture or other accoutrements of modern life—and remotes, unlike phones, don’t come with a ring tone to identify their location when you dial their number! And second, one would have a remote or device whose batteries are always charged up and ready to go (provided, of course, one adhered to the first part).
Most of us have several remote-controlled devices that could benefit from this kit. And, while the packing tape and double-face tape make projects seem sort of ad hoc, rather than sleekly unobtrusive like the XDModo Solar Charger we wrote about in February, they’re also liable to give those of us with two thumbs and no inner geek a good opportunity to appreciate how clever the kit (and our resident geek) really is. Now, if only someone would wire the thermostat up with a remote control for this weird weather we’re having! Let’s see, do I want to run the furnace or the air-conditioner?