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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

Kickstarter of the week: The Solar Pocket Factory

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Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

In a bid to make green power more accessible to all, inventors Shawn Frayne and Alex Hornstein are trying to get DIY solar panels into your hands.

The Solar Phone Charger Kit.
(Credit: Alex Hornstein)

What if you could have electricity anywhere there was sunlight? What if the charge on your phone could last for weeks; the poorest, most remote homes in the world could have electric home lighting; and adding a USB charge outlet was as simple as slapping a sticker onto a sun-lit wall?

Thus, Frayne and Hornstein introduce The Solar Pocket Factory: an Invention Adventure, a Kickstarter project that wants to put solar power in your hands.

The pair has made a small, automated factory for producing solar panels inexpensively, anywhere in the world, and is seeking to scale up operations.

Funding the project will get you something pretty neat: for a minimum of US$35, you get a Solar Pocket Kit, a small kit that contains everything you need to make your own solar panels. Pretty neat, right?

It gets better: for US$60, you get the "Experimenter's" kit, which includes a bunch of stuff you can power with your home-made solar panels: LEDs, a transistor radio, some dumb-phone chargers, a DC motor and a nickel metal-hydrid battery pack.

If you want to power your smartphone, you can invest US$100 for the Solar Phone Charge Kit, for charging a lithium battery. According to the Kickstarter page, it can power most smartphones, including iPhones, Samsung Galaxy phones, BlackBerrys and more. It comes with a USB port — all you need to provide is the cable; and the phone, naturally.

The ultimate goal is to create production models of the solar panel machine — powered by solar energy. Whoa.

And as an added bonus, shipping is absolutely free.

See more in the video below, or visit the Solar Pocket Factory Kickstarter page to read and donate.

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