Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Parasol offers solar charging for mobile devices

As the summer season begins in the northern hemisphere, consumers will be spending more time outdoors – but how to keep all of those electronic devices charged? We recently saw the SUN&CLOUD digital camera offer battery boosts via solar energy, and now New York-based gadget store Hammacher Schlemmer claims to be offering the first available-to-buy mobile-charging parasol.
At first appearing just like any other traditional sun umbrella, the device features four 10 x 4 ¼-inch photovoltaic panels woven into its canopy fabric. The panels care connected to two USB outlets located in the parasol’s pole, enabling users to keep their devices on for longer during warm summer days. The solar panels can also offer power even in overcast conditions. It’s easy to see how festival organizers, restaurants, bars or even beach proprietors could use this as way to help patrons to enjoy the outdoors a little bit longer.
While Vodafone has in the past created a very similar prototype, this is the first of its kind to be brought to market, at a cost of USD 499.95. Unfortunately, the Hammacher Schlemmer website currently lists the item as out of stock, perhaps indicating that those in the US may be seeing the device in use this summer.
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