Solar chargers are handy enough. They give you an extra power boost for your gadgets on sunny days. But hummm... what could make solar chargers even more interesting? How about if they tweet out how much energy you're gathering so that you can boast to your friends how awesome you are?
The Changers solar charger is a slick solar panel with a battery. About four hours of sunlight will provide a full battery charge, and the battery is large enough to charge an iPhone to full, twice. It is also compatible with a whole range of other devices, including other cell phones, Kindles, and pretty much anything that has a mini USB or micro USB input.
But charging is only half the fun. The Changers device will record how much energy you're gathering from sunlight and will tweet it out for you.
It sounds a tad on the obnoxious side. But think about it -- this seems to be where our culture is heading anyway. Facebook is launching an app soon that will let you brag to your friends how much energy you're saving. Tweet-A-Watt, a program that tweets how much energy you're using, was voted as a winning green gadget awhile back. So why not tweet out how much energy your harvesting from sunlight, and perhaps even get your friends to start using solar energy. And there's a reward system in place (as if earning major street cred among your followers as being solar savvy isn't enough ).
Wired notes, "If that sounds a little too much like smug, do-gooder behavior to you, then you’re probably right. But there’s a good reason to participate. Converting energy earns you credits, which can be redeemed on various hippy services and goods."
If anything, it's a stylish-looking charger that sounds fairly powerful and could be handy in off-grid situations. If you're a Foursquare user or are constantly using the "check in" button on the Facebook app, then you might dig the Changers charger. You can preorder the starter kit for $149.00.
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