If you've ever needed power on the go but don't want to lug a portable battery charger around, a new Kickstarter project could provide the answer. The bright minds behind Startup EnergyBionic have slapped a solar charger on a wristband to give you sun-powered juice for your phone. Called Carbon, the wearable charger will cost $95 if you back the project now. The device is estimated to ship in August 2014, if the project is funded by March 31.
Don't be fooled into thinking this functions as a watch. Carbon is simply a solar cell built into what looks like a watch face. A charging port, LED indicator and button line the edges. The multi-color LED light flashes to indicate battery charge level, charging status and can even act as a mini flashlight or safety strobe when you need it. Carbon is also dust and water resistant.
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Charging is activated by pushing the button below the connector, and you access the port by unscrewing a hinged cover. Each Carbon comes with a set of mini cables with a 2.5mm jack on one end and a iPhone 4/4S, Lightning (iPhone 5/5s), microUSB and USB on the other.
Each cable is just 4 inches long, so you 'll have to keep your phone close as you charge it. A 650-mAh lithium polymer battery should offer a charge of approximately 1 Amp, 5 volts and 5 watts to your devices. According to EnergyBionics, this means it will take Carbon about 25 minutes to put out a full charge.
With these cables, you can use Carbon to charge a variety of devices, from smartphones and tablets to cameras and even Google's Glass. Collect energy both indoors and outdoors, but be prepared to wait awhile. It takes 2 to 3 hours in full sunlight to fully charge Carbon. For $95, you get a solar charger in one of eight color options - Slate (silver) and Coal (black) frames with black, blue, green or red accents. You also get a black silicone strap and a set of mini charging cables.
While this is a great idea, we wonder if the technology could be built into existing or upcoming smartwatches to provide more functionality. If wearing a solar charger on your wrist sounds like a shining idea to you, support the Kickstarter project and order Carbon for yourself.