Images via Yanko Design
We've seen solar in strange places for gadgets, including directly embedded on gadgets like laptops and cell phones. That's not the most ideal location for solar power because it means leaving an electronic device in direct sunlight, which no owner really wants to do. Another alternative is solar cells sewn into clothing -- but even that can turn out badly, as some vests have shown us (though for a photographer, this vest could actually be really practical). That's why this camera strap concept is intriguing. It seems to be an ideal solution for an external charger that feeds energy directly into the gadget as you're using it. Designer Weng Jie came up with the solar camera strap, which any outdoor photographer would appreciate. With the great technology coming out for thinner, more flexible, more durable, and more efficient solar cells, putting them on a dSLR camera strap is both practical and would rack up a few "cool" points for the photographer. Plus, if you're a photographer hired to record an event, it can help ensure that you don't waste time switching or recharging batteries when you should be shooting away.
The only catch is that shooting outdoors in full sunlight, which is where this strap would be most effective, uses far less battery power than shooting indoors or in low-light situations. Still, it could make a lot of sense for some photographers who don't have back up batteries on them, or who are shutter-happy during festivals or events.
Having solar power on your camera to keep power trickling in to your batter can ensure you, ahem, save the day without having to panic over spare batteries. It doesn't look dorkey, like a solar-powered vest might, and it can be hanging out of a camera bag charging even when the camera is safely inside the bag and out of direct sunlight.
Seems like this is the kind of small-scale solar power application that makes a lot of sense.
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