Green

Charge your devices on the go: New smart solar charger raises $50K on Kickstarter

Above: StrongVolt founder Ian Sells and advisor / lead engineer Frank Wang

Imagine charging your smartphone on long summer days using the power of the sun.

Thanks to USB ubiquity, getting power from a portable solar charger is just as fast as plugging into the wall.

That said, the technology is still fairly new and the user experience is far from perfect. Most solar charges on the market aren’t designed to integrate with the latest mobile devices. They were initially built with laptops in mind. Another inconvenience is that they typically stop working when clouds break out, and devices need to be plugged back in manually.

San Diego-based entrepreneur Ian Sells just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a more sophisticated solar charger. In less than 24 hours, Sells has succeeded in raising over $50,000 from almost 700 backers. The campaign closes on Feb. 11.

According to Sells, the product “StrongVolt” took about four years to develop. Inspiration struck when Sells was in China for business in 2009. It was during that trip that he first saw a bulky, early prototype for a solar charger and became transfixed.

Sells began buying up solar chargers but found flaws. According to Sells, StrongVolt is unique as it will automatically reconnect when sunlight appears. It is compatible with any Apple or Android device, including tablets and e-readers.

Sells is currently seeking a patent on the StrongVolt solar charging technology. The Kickstarter capital will be used to fund the first run of chargers.

To see the charger in action, check out the video below:

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