Wearable solar power? No, we’re not talking about that solar-powered clothing (though we have featured such items). We’re talking about the Apollo Armband, a portable solar charger designed to soak up the sun’s rays not on a sunny window ledge or on the dashboard of your car, but rather, on your person.
When Zimmer Barnes, a member of the ATX Hackerspace in Austin, Texas, was sideswiped by a passing motorist’s rearview mirror, his injuries required him to rock what he describes as “a plastic, futuristic looking arm brace” to a technology conference he was scheduled to attend. Here, a number many of other attendees had ideas for tech Barnes could rig up to this brace for added functionality. Barnes took up their challenge and created the Apollo Armband, a portable solar charger designed to provide auxiliary juice for such must-have, energy-hungry portables as the iPhone.
In response to popular demand, Barnes is seeking the opportunity to makes his solar armband available to the masses via a Kickstarter campaign. As per the website’s rules, if the Apollo Armband garners donations equal to his stated $3,200 goal by June 19, units will roll into production. (If not, donors need not send in their pledged cash.) For a pledge of $128, donors will receive an Apollo Armband charger kit, ready to assemble, and for $168 or more, the charger itself, fully assembled.
The Apollo Armband makes use of a rugged Voltaic Systems solar panel and battery, further protected with a quarter-inch layer of clear acrylic sheet, laser cut to fit the size and shape of the panel. It fits on your upper arm via black Velcro strips, black nylon strapping with plastic buckles, and a black cotton armband–ideal, we imagine, for both biking and jogging.