There are technologies that offer solutions to problems. And then there are technologies that aim to solve problems we don’t really have in the first place, such as a charging case for the Amazon Kindle, that e-reading device of formidable battery life.
Though the need for it may be moot, the world’s first solar-powered case for Kindle gets a nod. SolarKindle’s reserve battery case works with the standard Kindle or Kindle Touch and guarantees three months of unplugged Kindle reading time, provided that the user is in “normal sunlight conditions.” Taipei-based SolarFocus first showed off the product at CES earlier this year; it’s now shipping for $80. As we noted back then, the SolarKindle case does not work with the Kindle Fire.
Eighty dollars might seem like a lot — even for a renewable solar-energy panel — but the case also comes with a built-in LED reading lamp that’s supposed to last up to 50 hours, using the case’s battery and not the Kindle’s. And if direct sunlight isn’t an option for getting this thing juiced up, it also comes with a USB port for traditional charging.
Three months of battery life seems like a hefty claim. And here at AllThingsD, we put products through rigorous battery tests. So, while it’s a grueling job to test the SolarKindle case on a sunny beach for three months, I am graciously volunteering to do so, and pending approval from the bosses, will report back with the results.