Mini Solar-Charging Tree Is A Bonsai For Your Gadgets

I have a solar charger of sorts. It’s got a flexible solar panel that you hang up in the window, and a long cord that connects it to the battery pack. It’s functional, but sort of unwieldy, and the suction cups that keep it in the window often give out unexpectedly, terrifying the cat and myself. The marriage of both form and function seems to be difficult for some gadget designers, but not the creators of electree+.

Inspired both by the bonsaï tree and by fractal patterns found in nature, electree+ sports a series of strategically-placed solar panels instead of leaves. This intelligent tree combines a beautiful form with a powerful battery that can charge multiple gadgets in a hurry using the power of natural daylight.

Electree+, solar charger, solar power, bonsai tree, Kickstarter

Image via electree+/Kickstarter

The electree+ design was actually conceived by French designer Vivien Muller several years ago. Since then, a simple working prototype was developed with Chinese manufacturers, and 200 electrees were distributed in Europe. Now, using the feedback and experience gained in that small run, Muller hopes to make an even more sophisticated electree+ for mass production, built right here in the USA!

To facilitate the improvements and production style Muller envisions, electree+ has taken to Kickstarter, looking for $200,000 within the next month. According to the campaign page, the funds will be used to enlist a US-based manufacturer & contract at least 1,000 electrees. Version 2.0 will include 27 high quality silicone solar panels; a 14,000mAh internal battery capable of recharging an iPhone5 over nine times, a Galaxy S3 ~seven times, or an iPad2 twice on a single charge; two USB ports and an optional Qi wireless charging zone compatible with most modern smartphones and adaptable to work with iPhones. Additionally, the baseplate can be upgraded to house a 1K NFC chip, which can trigger a custom action or event on your device such as enabling WiFi, entering dock mode, setting an alarm, or even controlling your music or lights.

The campaign has only just begun and already backers have pledged more than $20,000 to make it a reality. A donation of $199 makes it yours.

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

1 Comment

  • Reply November 29, 2012


    Good luck with this nice little device.

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