One of the biggest pain points for any smartphone user is the fact that even the flagships can’t promise battery life that can get through a day at work. Everything from playing video to camera use and poor network end up affecting battery life on these devices. And there is never a powerpoint, or your smartphone charger, when you need it the most. However, there is always the sun to be tapped into for power.
Solar Paper is the world’s smallest and lightest solar charger and is as thin as paper. Created by Yolk, a startup based in Seoul and Chicago, the Solar paper has raised over $6,00,000 on Kickstarter so far. Given that the sun is out, the Solar Paper can charge your smartphone in about 2.5 hours. Maybe in the harsh Indian sun it could work faster.
The charger is light enough to be clipped on to a backpack when you are on the bike or on a hike in the hills. And thankfully, unlike other chargers of this kind, the solar Paper automatically resets if a cloud passes. The 5 watt Solar Paper is good enough to charge a smartphone, but for more you will need to get extra magnetic panels.
Responding to an email questionnaire, Yolk CEO SungWon Chang said the company has a vision to bring portable solar power to everyone who has a mobile device. “We believe that not enough people are plugging in to the world’s biggest, most effective, tax-free energy source, the sun, and we’d love to change that. As such, we are reaching out actively to all global markets where there is a high intensity of portable electronic device usage. India absolutely falls into this category,” she said.
She added, for developing countries, they were exploring the possibility of using Yolk’s solar charging technology to charge used batteries. “This will provide highly cost effective power to regions that are ‘off the grid’.”
Solar Paper is now available on Kickstarter with a two-panel option priced at $89. “The pricing is around 35% cheaper than our expected retail prices, so it’s a great chance to pick up a bargain before pre-order shipments start in September,” Chang added. The expected retail price is $120 for the two panel unit. The 7.5W Solar Paper with 3 panels will cost $160 and users with an iPhone 6 should be opting for this model. The 10W Solar Paper will be for iPhone 6+, Samsung Galaxy S6 or iPads and Galaxy tabs. This will be priced $200.
We might have a lot of sun, but tapping into its power will certainly not be an affordable option for markets like India.