Are Solar-Powered Paper-Wrapped Radios All That Green?


Images via Yanko Design

Yesterday green gadget blogs were abuzz with a concept shown off at Yanko Design. It's the Flexio Solar FM Radio. It's solar powered, compact, and covered in paper instead of plastics. So it should be a greener option, right? Well...not so much. Weeding through the green buzz words, we're having trouble figuring out if this little concept has a real world purpose, or if it should stay in the realm of concept. Read on about its constrictive features and weigh in. So the idea is kind of neat. A paper radio you can charge with solar and play when you need it. Also, manufacturing would be fast and cheap. But...that's where it ends.

It would play only one fixed FM station - which means it wouldn't be good to have on hand for emergencies since you'd want to tune into AM stations. The fixed station also means it only works within the broadcast range, so if you head to another city, the radio is useless. Also, it comes in packs of various radio stations for that area. Why that - creating more products - but not just adding a tuner to a single product?

Plus, you'd have to wait for a charge via sunlight to play anything at all. And why might someone opt to listen to this FM-playing device when they can hear uninterrupted music of higher sound quality on their MP3 player?

Yet, the designers say it could possibly be modified to receive internet radio via WiFi or WiMax. That might make it slightly more useful and gives it slightly more potential as a useful product.

So what are your thoughts? Is the fact that it's solar powered and paper-wrapped enough to make this a green concept, or is it a bad idea for a product that isn't worth the resources?

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Tags: Concepts & Prototypes | Electronics | Gadgets | Solar Power