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.
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.