That's the ReNu, a portable solar panel designed for the mass market, for powering personal electronics like iPhones, music players, and desk lamps due to hit the shelves in June 2010. Reena Jana interviews Robert Brunner, Chief Designer on his tactics, and he shares 3 tips for innovation. Here's a snippet,
But they didn't ask them what they wanted in such products. They asked them more broadly about their experiences in conserving power.
Friends told them about the situations when they were acutely aware of power supply. For example, "when they used their laptops on planes, they started looking at power differently," Brunner said. "They paid more attention to the battery symbol on their screens." An investor had his own moments of not taking energy for granted: "He said he is most aware of power sources is when he is sailing," Thinking of such moments when people are focused on energy use, ReGen's designers paid particular attention to their products' charge-level displays, making them eye-catching and easy-to-interpret. By putting usage on display, the unobtrusive interface influences consumers' energy consumption habits with everyday home gadgets, and is hailed as one of ReNu's most innovative features.
It was being acutely aware of power shortages after his recent move to Kenya from Florida, that led Erik Hersman to uncover some solar powered alternatives available in the local market.
This is the ToughStuff solar panel that comes with accessories to charge mobile phones, radios and even fake D-cell batteries that take direct input from the panel to allow for flexibility of use such as at night.