Saturday, September 26, 2009

Solar Tent Charges Your Phone, Glows So You Can Find It

At last, the Internet comes to the wilderness
By John Brandon



The problem with the great outdoors has always been the lack of full mobile connectivity, electric lighting, and a power source for your laptop. The Orange Solar Concept Tent, which will debut in the UK starting today, in time for the Glastonbury rock festival, tackles these critical problems. The tent uses "solar threads" woven into the fabric to collect energy. The inhabitants can adjust the tent's movable panels to capture the best angle on the sun throughout the day. Inside the tent, a display shows how much solar energy the tent has captured throughout the day and how much energy is currently stored.
Orange is one of the most well-known wireless carriers in the UK, so naturally the tent includes a few extra features related to going mobile during the day, while the pod charges. "Glo-cation" technology allows you to send an SMS message to the tent, causing it to glow so it's easy to find. (The tent also supports active RFID tags to accomplish the same goal.) While you sleep, you can charge your phone in a pouch that uses magnetic induction over a wireless signal, without any power cables.
The tent also includes a useful feature: an under-layer that heats up when the tent reaches a lower-than-ideal temperature.

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