About this project
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Hi. This is Adam from GreenSimian. In mid 2010, myself and resident engineering genius, Jamie, were pondering the smartphone solar charger market, and the fact that the devices on the market today are ineffective, poorly-designed, and made of cheap plastic in suspicious manufacturing facilities. From that day on, we have been working to develop an effective solar charging solution that combines high-quality hardware and smart software in a design that complements the most iconic smartphone in the world: The iPhone.
Introducing SolMate®, an aluminum-cut, silicon-dioxide, glass-covered iPhone-casing that is capable of charging and protecting the phone through light sources and inductive power surfaces. Sporting proprietary micro-designed electronics, a Qi inductive charging chip, power-dense 18 percent efficient solar cell, and a super-thin lithium battery, SolMate is running circles around power depletion and replenishment within 1 percent increments of accuracy. Its proprietary power management software and iOS app work together to communicate between SolMate and the iPhone, providing users with a portable power experience that is unmatched.
See our recent prototype pictures: Aluminum frame, electronics, solar, all in place. We are now in final refinement phase.
OK geeks, here goes. Our circuit is not a “rookie engineering” project. We use 0201 size components, QFNs, 1/2 thickness PCB with 2oz copper, and an extremely high-efficiency charging system. The PCB is less than 12mm long. The next prototype will stack two circuit boards together, allowing us to remove even more material from the end of the case. We are also MFi-certified by Apple (official partners), which allows our 16-bit microcontroller circuit to deliver tons of useful data to the app.
We really appreciate your support! Every pre-order that goes into our project will go towards building and shipping SolMates worldwide.
All the best to you all,
Adam & Jamie
PS if you are a t-shirt backer, you get one of these (-: (comes in black, grey and yellow - any size).
PSS If you like what you see, tell your friends and Like us on your Facebook page. Your innovation partners, Adam and Jamie.
"SolMate by GreenSimian Signals New Era in Smartphone Battery Life" Fierce Telecom, February 2012
"Okay, so solar power chargers aren’t anything new per say, so why should we care about this one? First off, it’s design looks solid and it is from folks who clearly have worked for reputable technology companies in the past – Adam Benzion, a former Microsoft employee, and Jamie Wojcik, a former designer from Texas Instruments — beyond that, this is highly polished compared to cheaper alternatives (such as Chinese solar solution), and even consists of an additional battery and a 16-bit microcontroller that communicates with a custom iOS app for the SolMate." MobileMag, February 2012
"Come Spring 2012, consumers can spend even more time glued to their gadgets, thanks to SolMate, a smartphone power casing packing solar electricity, inductive charging, battery storage and energy management software that ups the ante on smartphone battery life." Solar Novus Today, February 2012
Podcast: Not Another Mac Podcast - Interview With GreenSimian, February 2012
"Conceived by two Seattle geeks with serious tech-industry chops (Texas Instruments, Microsoft), both of whom were frustrated by the dearth of hot chicks impressed by transistor-laden digital integrated circuits quality solar-powered smart phone peripherals, the SolMate's an iPhone case that charges the sucka while you use it, an idea that won them a CES Design & Engineering award." Thrillist, February 2012
"iPhone users looking for a well-designed solar charger and battery pack case for their smartphone. Might be interested to learn that a new design is currently looking to make the jump from concept to production over on the Kickstarter website." Geeky-Gadgets, January 2012
"Tired of solar chargers that are ineffective, poorly designed and made of cheap plastic in suspicious manufacturing plants? Adam Benzion of Seattle-based Green Simian was. So Benzion got together with an engineer friend to make the SolMate, a solar charger for the iPhone 4 that its creators believe even Steve Jobs would have approved of." Earth Techling, January 2012
"Does your iPhone battery life get you down? Don’t worry. Two enterprising Seattle geeks believe they’ve solved that ongoing frustration with the SolMate, a innovative iPhone case whose razor-thin solar panel and 16-bit microcontroller circuit board provides a charge directly to the mobile device." GeekWire, January 2012
"What is the Solmate? Well, two awesome people from Seattle came up with a concept I personally believe is one of the best iPhone case I’ve seen effectively combining purpose and design." YourApplePlace, January 2012
"There have been countless products that have come to market to combat this—boosters, chargers, extra battery packs—but Adam Benzion and Jamie Wojcik have created a new iPhone case to rectify the problem." PC Mag, February 2012.
Imitation, it has been famously said, is the sincerest form of flattery. However, imitation also may be illegal. Therefore, while we at GreenSimian are flattered by those who are inspired by our work, we take intellectual property infringement seriously and do not allow others to imitate our creative copyrights, technology breakthroughs and trademarks in any manner that violates the law.
Apple & iPhone are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc and are not affiliated in any way with our product. We just love them.
SolMate is a milled aluminum and silicon dioxide glass casing that charges the iPhone from any light source or inductive power surface. SolMate's patented microelectronics, Qi inductive charging chip, powerful 18%-efficient solar cell, and custom lithium-ion battery, combined with GreenSimian's proprietary power management software and iOs app, deliver an unmatched portable power experience.
We are still working on the final product but we estimate the following:
Length 126mm x Width 68mm x Depth 19mm, Weight 2.5 oz
GreenSimian's KickStarter funding will be used to bring our first-generation SolMates to market. The money raised will be used to develop manufacturing processes and support production setup, customize solar cells, batteries and glass, and finally continue to develop our iOS app. If we make profit here, great, but our intention is to literally "kickstart" our company and product line vs. make a quick buck. For now.
SolMate's technology is totally different from that of other portable solar accessories. While ordinary solar charging accessories need direct sunlight to generate power, SolMate's high-efficiency solar panel and proprietary SolCurve technology generate power in the shade, indoors, even on overcast days in Seattle.
Generally speaking SolMate’s solar panel can add 20-30% to your daily battery life when you expose it to light and sun throughout the day. The more exact math is 12% for of additional power each hour of direct sunlight. But, we don’t recommend that you “bake” your phone in the sun either...when you are out and about in a coffee shop, on a run, at the office; let it soak the light throughout your day and evenings under manmade light.
SolCurve is a proprietary technology developed by GreenSimian. Named after the output efficiency of PV cells, known as the I-V curve, SolCurve utilizes a technique called Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) to deliver the maximum possible power from SolMate's PV panel to the iPhone.
While anything left in sunlight will get warm, SolMate's milled aluminum casing is extremely good at dissipating heat. GreenSimian's proprietary software also monitors the temperature of the SolMate battery and circuit board, and adjusts the charge rate accordingly. SolMate also charges the iPhone with over 90% efficiency, which means that that while generating electricity, it generates very little excess heat.
No. Our frame is extremely thin and we are making four antenna "ventilation" openings on the sides of the frame that are proven to allow clear, strong reception bars.
Yes. We are currently working with a partner that can anodize aluminum. We would also love to get our hands on flat red and black SolMates....
100% yes for iPhone 5, we are considering iPad 3 and are working with partnerships with other phone manufacturers to explore more phones, like Samsung. Our technology is very adaptable...the secret sauce is SolCurve, the patented electronics that makes this magic happen.
iPhone 4/4S today, iPhone 5 immediately after, and then Samsung Galaxy and possibly iPad 3. That's the plan, gang.
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