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Ripple: The Most Advanced Solar Watch Strap for Pebble Time. project video thumbnail
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$56,960 pledged of $80,000 goal
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By GIXIA GROUP
$56,960 pledged of $80,000 goal
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About this project

We want to create a strap that would allow your smartwatch to perform better than a regular watch. Forget the grid, the power bank, the cable charger, and the charging dock. We want a truly smartwatch that lasts without having constantly worry about its battery power.

Conventional watches only need their batteries replaced about once every two years, while Pebble Time needs at least 52 charges in just one year (one charge per week for 52 weeks). So much time and energy wasted!

If every hour the sun's energy that falls upon Earth is collected, it would equal the amount of energy the entire global population uses in a year. The best part is, the energy from our sun is infinite.

To quote from the US Department of Energy: “Each hour 430 quintillion Joules of energy from the sun hits the Earth.” That’s 430 with 18 zeroes after it! Whereas, all human use in a year is 410 quintillion Joules.

When you are chilling at the park. Charge.
When you are chilling at the park. Charge.
When you are driving. Charge.
When you are driving. Charge.
When you are at your office where there's sunlight. Charge.
When you are at your office where there's sunlight. Charge.
When you are working out. Charge.
When you are working out. Charge.
When you are shopping. Charge.
When you are shopping. Charge.

With Ripple, you can capture the sunlight's energy and NEVER have to be recharged!

We have always wanted to design a piece of artwork that can be used in everyday life. Since we are Pebble Time users, we thought, "Why not a watch strap?" Apart from the watch itself, the watch strap is the most personal item that fits around your wrist. The touch, the texture, and the skin contact are all important when it comes to designing a watch strap. We are very excited to show you the product of our hard work in the form of Ripple, a great solar-powered watch strap. 

Protective Case
Protective Case
PDMS Strap
PDMS Strap
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PDMS material has excellent light conductivity and light trapping features (light won’t escape from PDMS). This characteristic allows us to capture and transmit light to hidden solar cells, which is a breakthrough for conventional solar modules! The video also exemplifies the flexibility that normal solar module cannot perform. This is the reason why Ripple is a revolution of wearable solar device.

Hidden Solar Cells- New Breakthrough in Solar Design
Hidden Solar Cells- New Breakthrough in Solar Design

Ripple can hide solar cells and store them vertically. It saves up space and is also effective. Solar-powered product is no longer in dark color!

160 degrees Light Absorbance
160 degrees Light Absorbance

With PDMS's high absorbance and wide-angle collection (up to 160 degrees) from sunlight, Ripple’s newly structure can make better usage of natural lighting.

This diagram shows a comparison of different solar modules’ performance under various angles. Ripple can collect both scattered and direct sunlight to maximize its light absorbency, while traditional solar panels have limited sunlight angles. With Ripple, you can move freely without being bound to the position of the sun.

Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is an organic polymer material that is highly recyclable. Not only is it eco-friendly, it is also comfortable and durable! Save the planet and pass it on to the next generation. Use solar power.

We set up the experiment with an irradiance meter to receive sunlight readings while the PDMS material (the prototype watch strap) guided light rays into the solar cells. The solar cells can convert sunlight into electricity. When electricity transferred to Pebble Time, the power meter read the current.

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When the weather is good and the sunlight is strong enough (no cloud obscures), Pebble Time will show a charging icon with “coffee cup”. Bad weather or sun obscured by cloud will result in low current. You can go to the Setting to check charging status of Pebble Time.

Pebble Time has a 150 mAh battery, which can last for 7 days with a consumption rate of 0.89 mAh per hour. The below table is our experimental data conducted on a sunny and cloudless day in Taiwan:

Ripple Experimental Data
Ripple Experimental Data

This table shows that solar irradiance was about 870 W/m2 at noon and Ripple provided 9.75 mA current to Pebble Time. According to the data from international sunlight monitoring website (http://ptaff.ca/soleil/?lang=en_CA), the highest solar irradiance can reach to 1100 W/m2 during summer in Taiwan. Ripple can provide 1100/870*9.75 =12.3mA current. Thus, Ripple can provide up to 13 hours of battery life with just one hour of sunlight when laying flat under the sun, or up to 7 hours for one hour of normal wearing to sunlight exposure. In addition, we calculated Ripple’s best performance for each area through the latitude coordinates of major world cities with sunlight information provided by the international sunlight monitoring website.

Ripple Calendar
Ripple Calendar

We heard you! Ripple is compatible with Pebble Time Steel. Our goal is to develop one version that fits both Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel. But if the final process can’t meet our high design standard, we will develop other version for Pebble Time Steel using the same material but different hardness.
*We will contact you for your selections after the campaign.

Know someone who would be just as stoked as you are about Ripple? Share our campaign with them through the "Share this project" button at the top. Sharing is caring!

Let's reach USD 100,000 to unlock color options! 

 *Our reward does not include Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel. 

The full retail price for Ripple will be $79.99, so you're getting a good deal by supporting us on Kickstarter. We will not be selling Ripple in retail until all Kickstarter rewards have been shipped.

GIXIA GROUP - A Innovative Design Powerhouse

GIXIA Group, founded by the most awarded Taiwan-based industrial designer Jung-ya Hsieh, is acknowledged as the most innovative and influential creative consultancy in Chinese-speaking world. With more than 20 years of extensive design experience, GIXIA Group has served its clients for a wide spectrum of industries from the Greater China area, the U.S., and Europe. In addition to numerous honors granted by iF, Reddot, IDEA and G-Mark, GIXIA Group has also been recognized by iF as one of the top 100 creative companies in the world since 2011. GIXIA Group is currently dedicated to nurturing new business opportunities and has successfully transformed itself into an entrepreneurship incubator/facilitator, aiming to spin off new companies to provide unprecedented products and services for generations to come.

Technical Partner - Flexwave

Flexwave is dedicated to develop novel Photovoltaics module. By the application of planar concentrator technology- FWPVs (Flexible Waveguiding Photovoltaics), the light was collected and guided to the side of the module, where solar cells were vertically installed and encapsulated by the waveguide material. Equipped with the unique properties of FWPV, the module could be flexible, colorful (or transparent), shapeable and potentially to be integrated with various kinds of electronics to meet the demand for power without sacrificing the looks.

See Research Publication

Would there be some kind of overcharge protection so I don't blow the watch up?

There's no battery in Ripple so it won't explode. Ripple converts the energy from the sun and directly supply it to your Pebble Time. Also, Ripple is design to charge your Pebble Time with a protective mechanism that will not allow overcharge.

Does the strap gets hot when absorbing light? 

Not at all. Ripple's PDMS strap has a silicon property so it will not become hot. Also, the circuit board is designed for low power charging, so there will be no issues such as over heating. 

Is there warranty? 

Warranty is one year once the product is shipped. 

Is the strap material harmful? 

Not harmful at all. PDMS is non-biodegradable, but is absorbed in waste water treatment facilities. Its degradation is catalyzed by various clays. Also PDMS is optically clear, inert, non-toxic, and non-flammable.

Does it work with Pebble Time Round, AppleWatch, or other smartwatches? 

Besides Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel, Ripple doesn't work with Pebble Time Round, AppleWatch, and other smartwatches. But if this campaign works out well, we will definitely consider designing more cool solar energy related products for other smartwatches!

Is it waterproof? 

It is waterproof in a sense that you can have water go into the case, but if you want the charging to be functional, you have to wipe it dry first. The strap, however, is completely waterproof. 

Does it work indoor?  

Yes, as long as you are next to a window where sunlight can come in! 

Does it come with different color? 

Of course! Once we reached the stretch goal, different colors will be unlocked :)

Risks and challenges

Ripple is nearly complete. All watches shown on this page and in the videos were rendered pictures and prototypes. We’re currently planning our production and are ready to meet the estimated delivery times.

Forecasting Risk

We’ve done our very best to forecast demand and create a solid production plan. We’ve learned a lot from the past years, but sometimes forecasts don’t always hit the mark. Should we miss projections, we’ll let you know why and make it right as quickly as possible.

Supply Chain Risk

We’ve built a very capable team who have worked for the past years on all our products. However, component delays and unexpected shortages can occur. If this happens, we’ll be sure to keep you informed and work to quickly solve the problem.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    I support the spirit of innovative solar project!
    Help us spread the word and we'll love you indefinitely :)

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    I support a clean energy future!
    We really appreciate your pledge. THANK YOU!

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    Pledge $59 or more About $59

    Super Early Bird (Retail $79.99)
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Funding period

- (45 days)