Alta Devices has announced "the future of mobile power," claiming to have the world's lightest, most high-density military solar charging mats. Such technology has the potential to change a soldier's every day life, with about a third of their very heavy loads - which can exceed 100 pounds - being caused by batteries. By using their charging mats, Alta Devices claims to be able to reduce pack load weight by 25lbs.
According to the announcement, the same technology used to construct these mats will also be implemented into devices at the consumer level via gadgets and cars, as well as in unmanned systems and industrial platforms. According to the company's CEO Chris Norris, the next decade will be one where consumers expect "transparently available" mobile power. There's mention of using the charging mats in emergency situations, such as Hurricane Sandy, which left many without power.
The smallest charging mat is 4 ounces, and is said to be slightly larger than a piece of paper in terms of dimensions, in addition to being flexible and highly portable. All the chargers are designed to be rugged for both rough handling and harsh conditions. They're specifically designed to be low-light sensitive, with the 10 watt version producing up to 60W/h per day in "strong solar climates."
CEO Chris Norris offered this statement. "There are nearly limitless opportunities for always-available mobile power. We are initially targeting applications where the need is well understood and the opportunity is substantial. Over time, we see huge markets being enabled by this kind of mobile power."