We’ve been busy here at SlashGear getting reviews of some exciting new products for you, as well as covering all of the crazy Palm Pre, iPhone, Apple and BlackBerry rumors for you. If you missed anything last week, here’s your chance to catch up on the important stuff.
Considering how hungry today's gadgets are for power, it's no surprise most geeks break out into a cold sweat when they're away from a mains socket. V-Dimension aims to change all that, with their Helius solar-powered backpack: they claim its integrated battery is good enough to keep even the most avid iPhone 3G user juiced-up.
Take one Nintendo DS, a handful of solar panels, some spare time and this Instructable, and you could end up with this: a solar-powered DS that you never have to plug into the mains again. By strapping four 60 x 60mm panels - each capable of a maximum 3 volts at 40 ma power output - to the top and bottom outside casings of the DS, you can actually create a trickle-charger potent enough to avoid ever needing mains power.
As well as LG's new plasma and LCD TV ranges, SlashGear had the chance to spend some hands-on time with the LG HFB-500 solar-powered Bluetooth car-kit speakerphone at CES 2009 this morning. The compact device can be recharged either by a standard AC connection - with an in-car adapter provided - or by leaving it on the dashboard to soak up the sun.
While solar powered home appliances are still far from reach for many of us, Scientists have been step ahead, cracking codes to improve solar cell’s power efficient and its environmental concern. Current solar-powered home appliances require extra step of energy conversion to generate supply power, about 20% of the energy is wasted during the process despite having a 90% conversion rate. A Japanese research group has figured out an alternate way to spare the extra step.
It seems today you can get just about anything in a solar powered version. Items you would not normally think of as a device that is capable of running on solar power such as headphones, 52-inch HDTV and persona media players (PMP). This next gadget takes going green a step further.
We're still waiting for a truly compact, domestic wind turbine in the manner of the Philippe Starck Democratic Ecology, but Japanese housing and environmental equipment manufacturer Nikko is promising something that sounds pretty close in 2009 [subscription required]. Expected to hit the market by October, the new wind turbine will measures roughly two meters in diameter and be priced at between $5,600 and $6,700.
Not your usual solar-power lighting devices that can charge in the day and twinkle at night; Sony mixes tradition with high tech craftsmanship, transforms low cost dye-sensitized solar cells into uniquely floral patterns, embedded on the lamp’s lateral shape panels that can generate energy by itself then power another miniature bulb that projects the beam-pattern depicted by the colors of cells on the panels.
In case you don't think there are enough PMPs out in the world, then here's another one that might suit your fancy. It's called the Shiro SQ-S and it actually offers something a little bit different than the norm. In fact, you can charge up this PMP with solar energy.
This PMP doesn't require a wired charging method in order to get it going. That really places it at an advantage, because how many times have you found yourself out and about, only to have your music player run out of battery? It does take six hours to completely charge the device however, and that's with "full sun." Even so, you could always plug it into the USB port of your computer and charge it in 4 hours, instead.
Even so, I could see how if you're out without any means of charging a device this would come in handy. A full charge makes for up to 38 hours of audio and 10 hours of video playback time. There isn't a price tag or any availability information just yet, but we'll keep you posted.