SolarFold and SolarFan Use Thousands of Tiny Spheres to Charge Your Gadgets

Two new foldable solar chargers from AmbienTech have hit the market. But...They look a little odd, right? That's because they're the first mobile chargers to use spherical solar cells. Each cell has around 1,900 spheres collecting solar energy. They're strong, bendable, and just look cool.

Exactly how the spheres differ from traditional silicon solar cells in terms of efficiency in materials during production and how they gather a charge, we aren't sure. According to Engadget, SolarFold and SolarFan can deliver around 2 watts over USB, and can gather up enough charge in 10 minutes to give you 3 minutes of talk time on an iPhone. Not terribly fast, but still not too shabby for foldable solar chargers which typically take awhile to gather up a charge. They're available in Japan for about $250 - we'll have to wait before (if?) we see them in other markets.

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