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Japan Hardware

Solar Powered Table That Wirelessly Charges Your Gadgets 56

greenerd writes "Panasonic recently unveiled a solar table at Tokyo's Security Show that harnesses QI technology to wirelessly charge your gadgets with solar power whenever you place them on the countertop."
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Solar Powered Table That Wirelessly Charges Your Gadgets

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  • If I point the solar panel towards the sun, my gizmos drop on the floor. If I don't, the sun will hardly hit it. Nice thing if you live on the equator.
    • And you like leaving your gadgets on a table on your front yard during the middle of the day.

      And your gadgets don't come with a warning saying not to leave them in direct sunlight for long periods of time.

    • Since I keep my tables indoors, they don't get all that much light, and that's not even counting all the stuff on the table. I'd be better off hanging a 1'sq panel outside and run a wire inside to a charge station.
  • I'm not convinced that we get enough sun here in England for half the year. Given how cool and useful this technology could be, it would be nice to see this table built with a mains lead as well, so that when the sun isn't out the table would still recharge your gadgets, but would automatically use the solar power instead when it could. It would be most annoying to have this at home, stick my phone on it to charge when I get home, but then have to plug my phone back into the mains overnight if it hasn't g

  • by Kokuyo ( 549451 ) on Monday March 14, 2011 @08:22AM (#35477960) Journal

    The idea is neat. Imagine if most surfaces where people spend some time (e.g. restaurants, cafes and so on) had these. You wouldn't need to fully charge your device in one go but you'd be continually charging them a bit.

    Now if only companies could agree on ONE standard so that IKEA could ALSO sell those tables and countertops and what-have-you and they could then charge ALL of your devices, because the tech could be built-in from the beginning by any manufacturer.

    I mean, what's the big idea? Should I buy different tables for my HTC Android, for the PSP and the iPod?

    • Radioisotope thermoelectric generators are the future of phone batteries, not all that poncy recharging.

    • Should I buy different tables for my HTC Android, for the PSP and the iPod?

      I can't imagine Apple or Sony using a proprietary technology or connector when a standard exists.

      • Should I buy different tables for my HTC Android, for the PSP and the iPod?

        I can't imagine Apple or Sony using a proprietary technology or connector when a standard exists.

        Apple's devices only charge on the iTablette.

  • by snsh ( 968808 ) on Monday March 14, 2011 @08:22AM (#35477964)
    A solar-powered table makes as much sense as a solar-powered down comforter or solar-powered underwear.
    • Solar-powered underwear would be cool. Or hot?
      • If your underwear sees enough daylight to get anything charged, then something is wrong. Now sexy underwear on a beautiful girl can charge important parts of me, but the surface covered by such underwear is usually very low, so solar panels would not give much electricity.
        • If your underwear sees enough daylight to get anything charged, then something is wrong

          ....or very, very right!!

      • "Come to my place to find out!"
  • Will save a bit of energy at home - and it's got a nice coolness factor. But at home we need of a lot more power than a tabletop of cells. Like covering all the walls and roof with low-cost solar cells will be of some use. What we could use *now* are jackets, hats, backpacks, cellphones and laptops with solar cells built in, to get a little more power when you're *not* near home or any power source.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    When is this 'Wireless' nonsense going away. It is not an innovation, it is a stupid solution for a non problem and any 12 year old can calculate it has NO future. Plug in the damn phnes.

  • This is useless, there aren't any solar rays in my mother's basement!
    • What do you mean? I got one of these, and then bought a 500 watt lamp that simulates sunlight. I pointed the lamp at the table. Problem solved. I get almost 10w of charging power, which is plenty to charge my phone.

      Now I just need to figure out why my electric bill went up by $60 a month. Must be that new electric toothbrush.

  • will love this, , not so useful for the rest of us.

    Of course we could put the table outside, as long as there is no other weather (rain, snow, dogs etc.)

  • Hasn't the world settled on USB plugs for charging.
    Induction is not that efficient.

    • by hitmark ( 640295 )

      Efficiency is of a lesser concern when the source is hanging there in the sky for hours each day.

  • So, I can recharge my phone by doing yoga?

  • I'm not sold on this wireless charging technology. It doesn't seem to add any simplicity, other than just not having to plug in a cord. Other corded charging stations seem to work as well, if you don't mind the extra 0.001 kilocalorie of effort to plug your device in.

    It's also relatively inefficient. It has to be to work that way.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I think this comment hit the nail right on the head. Efficiencies of inductive charging solutions are about 50% of that compared to 2 wires (i.e. a plug). There are those that are touting 70%; however, noone seems to be able to product data to that effect.

      What nobody has touched on was effective charging distance. After about 3-4mm of distance between the two devices (i.e. table and phone), you yield zero power delivered to the device. This effectively nullifies the retrofit market. You can no longe

      • Why the heck did somebody mark this comment down?

        Dude, you were the victim of a drive-by modding.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Seriously people - don't you have windows in your homes? Put the table by a window. You know, those glass rectangles that are in the walls that allow you to see outside... Never mind, I forgot who was reading this stuff. Even my windows have shades or curtains over them and if I move them out of the way, people will be able to see me...

    • Seriously people - don't you have windows in your homes?

      As a matter of fact... no, I don't. Too much security hassle, and too expensive too!

    • Maybe that would work if you have huge wall sized tables, and nothing blocking the sun like trees, other buildings, or your own roof. For most people it wouldn't work so well, and the cost effectiveness break-even point is sure to be laughable.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Requires the energy of a lightbulb to charge your devices. Epic fail in engineering to build a table for indoors that has a solar panel in it. Of course all the Green Nuts cannot see the flaw in this design, but they are too busy stockpiling hemp to understand why it won't work.

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.