by Adam Benzion & Jamie Wojcik
Stunning iPhone casing sporting a powerful solar cell, incredibly smart microelectronics, wrapped in solid aluminum, running an iOS app
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on January 17, 2012.
Use this space to cheer the creator along, ask questions, and talk to your fellow backers. Please remember to be respectful and considerate. Thanks!
All great news! Please consider adding a pledge for two SolMate's when you restart. I know there's no way my wife will let me have one without getting her one, too!
Re update 12: I'm glad you saw the light. Agree. Vitality via media is essential
I look forward to backing the new project as soon as I can! We WILL make this happen!
Harry, thanks for the feedback. We agree and we are going to relaunch this week for $20K just to get started. As for the VCs, we did speak to several but decided that we can do this on our own for now and later we we need to scale we will go via that route. This company and project are self funded thus far. We like your ideas, you can reach me at email@example.com for more any time.
I should also add the other Steve -> Steve Wozniak would be worth approaching.
Be nice to get some heavy weights like Guy Kawasaki, David Pogue, Jason Snell behind this project. That fellow with Daring Fireball, John Gruber would be another one for Adam to contact.
Thanks Harry. I'll talk to Adam to see if we should relaunch. Working away on the app today. It is looking really cool. Xcode programming is pretty easy! Just need to get our microcontroller to talk to the iPhone. Almost done with that too.
Jamie and Adam, you have a great product that truly deserves to reach the market. That said, there is a third option: cancelling right now and relaunching as a much leaner project with prime focus initially to bring it to market and generate some seed money to keep things going. If the goal is met, then certainly it wouldn't be out of line to consider charitable donations as originally envisioned. Sometimes one needs to take care of basics before proceeding with noble goals.
Adam and I will either fund it out of our own pockets or use an Angel investor. We didn't realize that you can't change the pledge goal after you launch. We will be reposting with a much smaller goal if we do not make it. We are trying to do this all without an investor involved (they want 200% returns right away). Adam and I want to build the SolMate to work for any portable device. We have been working with several handheld companies to embed our system into their phones too. Our mission is to create an incredible product and donate 50% of the profits to charity. That's why we are working so many hours on this. :)
Sorry, too fast return hitting ;).
Btw, from what I've read from your last update, you seemed pretty confident that the project would be founded within the 120 next days, no matter what.
Can you tell us more on this matter ?
Kind Regards from France.
Hello and best wishes for this new year.
I agree, this project really deserves to be founded but I'm getting worried since there are only 3 weeks left and the 100k $ goal seems hard to reach.
Right now I m spreading the word all around, as a lot of people are concerned about battery issues.
Btw, I've read
Just to add to the antenna concerns . Will the gps have any issues getting a signal . There was an aluminium bumper case on here that was funded but a lot of reviews on websites have said they cannot get any signal with the case screwed on . Hopefully we will be alright with this case :-)
This project definitely needs to get funded! Already spreading the word via FB, G+, and Twitter. Good luck, Adam and Jamie!
Hi Benson, we are doing extensive testing on this. We are making the case as thin as possible and will hollow out areas if needed but we will still have an amazing look and feel in the final design. We are well aware of antenna concerns (and we are familiar with Gauss's Law, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauss's_law ). We also have Apple's specifications on the antenna so we can get it right the first time.
Jamie and Adam
Is there a concern the aluminum case will interfere with the iphone antenna?
Amanda, you rock. Thank you very much and we definitely want to explore more color palates. Yes, there will be a micro-USB resident in the bottom of the casing so you can also sync and charge as needed when light or inductive charging is not sufficient.
I am so psyched for this!!!! I am praying people come to the site and pledge! I really, really, really want one (in pink or lavender :-) for my awesome phone. I have put it up on my facebook page, but I'm not sure I have enough friends that own an iphone to make a big dent in this :-( I just have one question-can you charge this and the phone with a USB also, or does it need solar to charge? Also, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Hi Bill, welcome and thank you! We will start with our cool steely look and later explore colors. For sure we ned to look into that and augment the spectrum of colors.
Thanks for your support, we sure hope to make this happen!
Congratulations! I've been reading about and hoping that this technology would someday become available. I'm excited to see you will be making my hope come true. Do you think you will be able to introduce colors to the offering or does this present a new challenge?
Hi Brad (and all). These are the same, but we can't remove the $150 reward which we later reduced until we migrate all backers to the new $99 price point. Brad, thanks for being our 59th backer! Happy 2012.
Also, what is the difference between the $99 level and the $150 level?
I sincerely hope this project gets funded. This is a fantastic idea that I hope to see realized!
Great question. We have yet to think about hoisters but I bet that there are many that would work..but good point, we should find one and suggest to our future customers. I will look into it.
S. Lieshout, thanks for your support and good words! We think that we will hit the target. A few trade publications will be writing about us in January (like Wired) so we should get a major push after the holidays. It's all about getting one viral thread going, and we are trying everyday.
Pretty sure the Maxpedition 4.5 inch smartphone holster will work with this, but I'm wondering if Adam and Jamie have given any consideration to a unique holster that allows best possible solar collection, i.e. exposes all of the solar panel back to collect light.
Insta-pledged for this when I learned about this project. A nice "green" alternative that deserves more backers. I would be very disappointed if this project would not be funded. I wish you guys all the best in realising this. Every device that we don't need grid power for, even if it's "just" an iPhone, saves a tiny bit of our planet.
Solmate is well thought out and from what i've seen of the current products marketed, the best soon to be available offering every serious iPhone owner should get and use.
Hey guys, I love this idea, and am excited that you're making it happen. The 'battery life predicament' has long been one of the most frustrating, even embarrassing elements of personal technology, so helping solve this while also harnessing natural energy should be applauded! Can't wait to get my hands on my very own SolMate (wait, that sounds kinda wrong...)
Hi Cory, we are making it as thin as possible. Our battery is custom made which is less than 2.5mm thick. The circuit I have designed works with all 30 pin iPhone products including iPod Touch, iPhone, iPhone 4, 4S... and even the iPad and iPad 2. It's just the enclosure that changes. For the iPad, we will add a larger solar panel.
By the way, our circuit is not a rookie engineering circuit. We use 0201 size components, QFNs, 1/2 thickness PCB with 2oz copper, along with an extremely efficient charging system and very efficient power output for the device we are charging. The PCB is less than 12mm long which is as small as I could make it for now. :)
We are also MFi certified by Apple so we have the means to communicate from our circuit (that has a 16 bit microcontroller) to the phone to put tons of things into the app. We'll post pictures of the app soon.
Sorry, missed that section on your page entirely...
Do you have some information about the dimensions of this? It is a cool idea, but I am interested in how much bulk it is going to add to the phone... I assume this is being designed to fit the iPhone 4 / 4s?