There is no shortage of solar chargers on the market -- many are great -- but they're often a little too large or heavy for lugging around on our daily travels. Many also take several hours to charge a smartphone or other gadget, making them inconvenient for those who would otherwise use them.
A company called YOLK is hoping to solve both of those problems with its Solar Paper charger that they claim is the lightest and thinnest solar charger to date. The panel is about the size of an iPhone 6 and the company says it can charge that gadget in only 2.5 hours in full sun (about half the time as many other solar chargers and similar to a wall charger).
It can fit inside a paperback book or notebook and it's only 1.5 millimeters thick, which is about the thickness of a stick of gum and weighs in at a slight 120 grams.
The Solar Paper charger is currently on Kickstarter and has already well-surpassed its goal of $50,000, reaching $214,415 at the time of publishing this with 36 days to go.
The makers of Solar Paper are actually the same people who were behind the Solarade charger that Derek wrote a positive review of last year.
This new charger is modular, starting as a 2.5W single-unit charger, but by adding units can be had as a 5W, 7.5W or 10W charger. The panels snap together magnetically, so it's easy to scale up or down depending on your needs. The magnetic sides also give the charger the ability to stick to metal surfaces for positioning outdoors.
The panel features a USB port for connecting your gadgets and also has an LCD screen that shows the exact load current (the amount of electrical current passed from a power source to the device that is receiving the power) that the charger is generating. That way, you know how it's performing in different weather conditions.
YOLK plans to deliver the Solar Papers in September of this year. You can get a 5W version, which is what they recommend for charging smartphones, for a pledge of $69. The expected retail price after the Kickstarter campaign is $120.
You can see the pitch video below.