Solar Power Goes Mainstream

As our world become less wired and more mobile, the ability to power our devices on the go will only become more vital. We’re now starting to see a fundamental shift toward solar as many product makers look to the sun to keep their customers plugged in.

Much of the effort so far has focused on bringing solar laptops to places where power grids don’t exist, with the hopes that newfound connections will serve as a portal to prosperity.

Perhaps in a sign of mainstream market potential, we’re now starting to see big box consumer brands with solar applications targeted to the masses. Consider the SolarKindle, a case that doubles as a solar charger. As is often the case with first-to-market products, the figures are both impressive and disappointing.

First, the good news: The SolarKindle case can power Amazon’s popular Kindle reader for up to three (yes, three) months. The leather case includes a built-in battery with a solar panel embedded in the front cover.

The bad news? It weighs about as much as a Kindle and the $80 price tag costs the same as the entry-level version of the e-reader. 

Mostly, though, Amazon’s venture into solar-powered devices shows a consumer appetite exists, and it’s likely that more companies will join the relatively few who have staked a claim on the burgeoning market.

Image: pressureUA via Shutterstock

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