We're now a little closer to plugging our devices directly into the sun, thanks to a fun student project that showed at the Dubai Design Week Global Grad Show exhibition.
Kyuho Song and Boa Oh, graduate students from the Samsung Art and Design Institute in Seoul, brightened a lot of people's day with the functioning prototype of Window Socket, a window mounting outlet.
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The socket adheres to the glass with a suction ring, and the palm sized solar panels charge the plug's integrated battery. It can be plugged into while mounted in the window or charged up and used later. As Kyuho Song told Business Insider, the current Window Socket prototype holds about 1,000 mAh, takes five to eight hours to fully charge, and can offer up to 10 hours of power. That's about enough to run a 60-watt light for ~20 hours, but not enough to re-juice cellphones quite yet… an iPhone needs almost triple that, and they keep getting hungrier!
Even with the prototype's limitations, the Window Socket would already be a great addition to locations without easy electricity or enough outlets. I can imagine multiple places I'd want to park one permanently, like a garage window, in a car, or on a boat.
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The team hopes to continue increasing battery capacity in the next iteration—with this kind of success under their belts, the chances look good.