Vodafone Working On An Umbrella That Charges Your Smartphone
Vodafone announced on their official blog that the company is starting a new project called Powerbrella, centered on the development of an umbrella that features photo voltaic cells which store enough solar energy to recharge your phone.
Called Booster Brolly, the umbrella created by Vodafone and University College in London is capable of improving the 3G signal strength and recharge your smartphone using renewable energy grabbed directly from the sun.
Instead of the regular cloth, the prototype umbrella is covered with 12 flexible solar cells, capable of generating electric power when they are exposed to direct sunlight. The power is stored in an internal battery, that can underpin the flashlight incorporated in the umbrella’s handle, the 3G antenna signal amplifier, or the charger that can be connected to a smartphone using the USB port.
But solar cells on an umbrella? Come on, guys you can do better than this. The umbrella is an object you are supposed to use when it’s raining, while the solar cells have a maximum of efficiency during sunny days. Therefore, the combination between an umbrella and solar panels is
very a bit inappropriate for those who don’t use an umbrella to protect them for the sun. The good thing is that the system includes a battery that can provide electric power anytime. Of course, you will first have to open the umbrella and “park” it in a sunny area for at least a few hours.
Booster Brolly weighs in only 800 grams. The prototype will be demoed this month at Isle of Wight Festival. If it’s a success, then Vodafone will start producing and selling the product. The price was not disclosed.