The human race has entered into the new millennium with great expectations of what futuristic products will become available to them. While flying cars and teleportation devices may still be well out of our reach, solar gadgets are going from being far fetched to becoming intertwined into our everyday use. It’s true that a lot of the futuristic gadgets certainly appear to be nothing more than a waste of intelligent thought and time. However, behind each comical contraption is what appears to be the common motivation to preserve the environment so that perhaps our children’s children can enjoy that flying car.
Solio Universal Hybrid Solar Charger
Now almost any mundane gadget can harness the power of the sun to power itself. Winner of the Mac World best of show 2005 the Solio Universal Hybrid Charger recharges any handheld device that you would normally plug into an outlet. This device is sold for $ 99.95 and comes in four different colors including a Quicksilver design. Besides the normal cables included in the box, they also throw in different tips which can be used to power a wide variety of cell phone brands. The battery holds energy for up to a year and can be recharged by the sun or wall outlet. At 5.6 ounces, carrying the hybrid charger in your purse or fanny pack won’t hold you down. For those of us who prefer not to be sporting a fanny pack to the office or out skateboarding, a handmade case called Tread has been developed to protect the charger under even the most extreme conditions. At $ 24.95 a pop they wouldn’t put you back any more than a cell phone or iPod case.
Art Haines’ Solar DIY Car Kit http://www.aboutmyplanet.com/environment/solar-diy-car-kit
This solar DIY car kit will enable you to build your own street legal Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (Low Speed Vehicle). No special tools are required. The manual has exploded view drawings and step by step instructions. Telephone and email support is available during business hours. They are now taking orders for these cars to be delivered in the spring. A small deposit will reserve your kit. Starter kits should run for $ 2900.00. More information at Art Haines’ Solar DIY Car Kit
Wireless, solar powered, weather proof speakers
The wireless amplified speakers are great for inside, outside and even from one room to another. They’re compatible with all audio devices that require speakers; from MP3 players and CD players to TV’s and PC’s. Sunlight is caught through a solar panel located in the top of the base and used to charge the battery, and generate sharp vibrant sound even when the transmitter is in one room and the speaker in another.
The solar panel, which is 5 inches by 4.5 inches, powers the fan, which exchanges hot air inside the car for the presumably cooler air outside. If you park in the shade and want to use the fan, there’s a plug-in adapter for the car. One retail Web site says the fan can reduce your parked car’s interior temperature by 25 degrees, though that’s not much solace considering another Web site cited 160 to 180 degree temps inside a parked car on a sunny day. You can get one of these solar gadgets on ebay for around $ 10. More information at Solar Car Fan
Cooking without Carbon
Remember those kids who used to burn ants with a magnifying glass? Well something useful has been created because of the thousands of ants who put their lives on the line. This solar lighter can be bought for a mere $ 7.50 and in six different color shemes, including rainbow. This device is used as a lighter specifically for cigarettes. Face the hinge towards yourself with the cigarette top end though the hole and catch the sunlight with the mirror so that it reflects onto the cigarette, and voilÃ , you’re smoking. This is probably one of the most useless solar gadgets as smoking is starting get banned in more and more places.
Bizarre Summer Style
This bamboo fan cap works just as you would imagine. Sunlight is absorbed through the disk on the top of the hat, which powers the fan that blows onto the forehead of the person wearing this unfortunate fashion faux pas. Ladies don’t distress, there is also a more feminine style for those of you who are more apt to go for a floral design. Both styles are for sale in the UK at just Â£11.00 each. For the joker or those of you just wanting to keep it cool.
Rotating plant holder
For the person who has everything else. This plant holder uses the suns rays to continually rotate the base so that sunlight is evenly distributed onto the plant. This could be deemed useful to dedicated gardeners lacking time to be fully attentive. One could envision something of the sort in Dr. Emmett Brown’s garage in Back to The Future; and running in at only $ 24.95 US dollars, this solar gadget is affordable and somewhat usefull.
Solar Power Rodent Repeller
This nifty little solar device has a battery built in that charges itself using the sun’s rays. Powerful sonic waves are produced at 20-40 second intervals, which in turn scare off rodents in the surrounding 4,500 square foot area. This product eliminates the use of harmful toxins which would normally be used to get rid of rodent inhabitants. The repeller operates off a NiCad battery, which has a low discharge rate when not in use. The internal battery is recharged by sunlight collected through the solar disk protruding toward the sun, saving electricity. The repeller is conveniently weather proof, but results and durability vary based on location and wear and tear. These babies are being sold at the low price of $ 59.95 each or at a reduced price when you buy them in twos.
Direct sun lighting
The direct sun lighting is not a single futuristic product, but a wave of new technology known as Hybrid Solar Lighting (HSL) that is reducing our need for old-fashioned electricity by harnessing the natural power of the sun. The lighting system boasts that the light redirected into your home is identical to the actual light of the sun. There is an option to filter the additional natural colors of the sunrise and sunset. So why isn’t the HSL found more commonly around the average household? The HSL3010 model, delivering 50,000 lumen of sunlight, is set to be available for commercial buildings early 2007 and won’t begin to be tested for residential housing until 2008. Until this product is produced in mass quantities, which will drive costs down, will this technology be implemented into every day living.
Bonus Gadget: Solar Watering Can Fountain
The Copper Solar Watering Can is yet another charming accent piece for your patio or garden. Operating on pure sunshine, thanks to its solar panel, this fountain recycles its water, and pumps it into the watering can, which then showers the basin below. The solar panel is attached to the fountain by a 16-foot cable, so you can hide the panel out of sight. Its multi-position holder comes with a 5.75″ stake. With no wiring necessary, all you need to do is simply install and enjoy. Made of 100% copper, it can also be used indoors with the supplied AC adapter. To create a more organic look, spread some decorative rocks in the base of the fountain to hide the tubing (rocks not included). Solar panel operates in direct sunlight.