A little while ago we brought you news that UK solar technology developer G24i had successfully tested solar cells that can work on indoor light alone and were actively looking to team up with hardware manufacturers to integrate their clever little invention into some actual gadgets. Well guess what? They’ve only gone and done it.
With an i-Pad keyboard no less.
A match so perfect that one can only i-magine it was a case of love at first s-i-ght, the moment they set i’s on each other, etc, etc.
This is of course fantastic news, because it means the beginning of the end of all sorts of little batteries. And, wait for it, a world in which we will no longer have to roll the batteries in the back of our TV remote controls every time they start running out of juice.
The downside of this invention, as we mentioned before, is that it will likely end up being incorporated into all sorts of things which, frankly, don’t really need to be powered in the first place. Like teddy bears in toyshops, breakfast cereal bowls and traffic wardens.
G24i have apparently already delivered 50,000 units to Logitech, with another 50,000 in the pipeline. The keyboards themselves are expected to retail for about $130 when they hit the stores.
Logitech’s President Bracken Darrell, said that he was excited by the development and that it, “signals the future of small electronics.”
A sentiment which was echoed by G24i’s chairman, Bob Hertzberg, who in an interview with clean-tech website businessgreen.com said that the incorporation of the solar cells, which generate a “trickle charge” from indoor light, was an extremely significant step forward.
“We have crossed the Rubicon and are in the market with a device,” he said, adding that the companies were now investigating how the cells could work with other peripherals such as mouses (mice?) or speakers.
“Devices are getting more efficient, batteries are getting better, and our technology is getting more efficient. It is the perfect storm for shifting lots of low energy devices over to energy harvesting.”
Obvious other devices include eBook readers such the Kindle, smoke alarms, commercial display units, mobile phones, and ultimately laptops and tablets.
He also said that the company is working with a high-profile hotel chain to deliver automated blinds powered using photoelectric cells that allow the blinds to shut when the room is unoccupied, reducing air conditioning requirements and saving between $3m and $4m a year for the company.
He didn’t however mention the teddy bears.