Carbon is a high tech wearable solar charger and a analog watch. Charge your iPhone, Android and other mobile devices on the go. Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on March 31, 2014.
About this project
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The typical smartphone battery doesn't last as long as we need it to. Carbon was designed to help solve this problem. Carbon offers you peace of mind knowing that you have an easy and sustainable way to power your mobile device. Carbon represents a new way of looking at power on the go.
Harvest Energy from Indoor and Outdoor Light. We chose a new high tech monocrystalline solar cell with a broad spectral sensitivity range of 300 nanometers (near-ultraviolet) to 1100 nanometers (near-infrared). This solar cell is great for harvesting energy provided by typical indoor office lighting and outdoor natural light.
Advanced Energy Harvesting Technology. There have been significant advancements with energy harvesting technology, including maximum power point tracking (MPPT), where small traces of energy can be used to power remote wireless sensors, networks and other devices often used in commercial and military applications. Carbon uses this next generation energy harvesting technology to allow maximum energy extraction from the solar cell even in low natural light and artificial light conditions.
Energy Storage and Mobile Device Charging. Carbon stores electrical energy from the solar cell as it’s worn, or from charging via USB, in a high density 800 mAh lithium ion battery. The stored electrical energy is used to power your mobile devices that are compatible with Carbon’s energy output of 1 Amp, 5 Volts and 5 Watts.
Carbon charges mobile devices via a 2.5 mm jack plug. This same jack plug can also be used to charge Carbon via USB. A permanently attached screw cap keeps water and dust out of the jack plug receptacle when not in use.
Advanced Circuitry. In addition to advanced energy harvesting and voltage boosting circuitry, Carbon also incorporates advanced power supply management and the latest lithium ion battery protection components. All of the electronics are driven by the latest in microcontroller technology.
Design, Select Manufacturing, and Assembled in the U.S.A. Carbon has been fully engineered and designed in the USA by the Energy Bionics Team. Manufacturing of the printed circuit board, assembly, testing and packaging will also occur in the USA.
Case Design. Carbon is worn on the wrist and we recognized the huge significance of that from a fashion or style perspective. Our design focus has been to develop a low profile watch-like design that doesn't look like a wearable solar charger.
We studied many watch designs and found that Carbon is similar in size or even smaller than some of the popular wrist watches on the market, such as the Bentley Flying B Chronograph by Breitling and Vestal (shown below).
Case Finish. We are offering two case finishes including one with a brushed metal that we refer to as 'Slate' and the second with a black PVD coating referred to as 'Coal.' Both the Slate and Coal editions offer four different accent options including black, electric blue, Kickstarter green (only offered on Kickstarter) and red. The accent colors apply to the push button and solar cell trim.
Note: All of the models shown are prototypes and have been machined out of aircraft grade anodized aluminum (6061-T6) and surgical-grade stainless steel (316L). The finish quality will improve greatly between the prototypes shown and the production models. Both the Slate and Coal cases are expected to be made entirely out of 316L.
Strap Design. Carbon is worn on the wrist using a standard 24mm watch strap. This means that any 24mm off-the-shelf watch strap using a spring pin will fit Carbon. We are offering one custom black silicone watch strap that is included with each purchase of one Carbon precision solar charger. The watch strap is made out of a soft silicone with a brushed stainless steel clasp. A leather watch strap with a brushed stainless steel clasp is also being offered and is included in the 'Complete Package' edition in the above rewards section.
Dust and Water Proofing. Carbon was designed in accordance with International Protection (IP) standards and has a Solid Particle Protection rating of 6 (No ingress of dust) and Liquid Ingress Protection rating of 4 (Splashing water). The levels of dust and water protection allow Carbon to be used on any adventure that doesn’t include full water submersion.
Mini Charging Cables. Carbon includes the below mini cables that will fit a variety of mobile devices without additional adapters or cables required. These are the mini cables that are included with Carbon: Apple 9 Pin Lighting Connector; Apple 30 Pin Connector; Micro USB Cable; Male USB Recharging Cable (charges CARBON via USB); and Female USB Charging Cable. Each mini cable is approximately 100 mm (4") long.
Product Packaging. Product packaging for some of the Carbon pledges includes a high quality crush proof and water resistant case. This is one product package that you will not want to throw away!
- Battery: High Density 800 mAh Li-Ion
- Approx. Output Charge: 1 Amp, 5 Volts and 5 Watts (varies by device being charged)
- Output Charge Time: Approx. 25 minutes
- Solar Cell Type: Monocrystalline (22% efficient)
- Solar Cell Spectral Sensitivity: 300 nanometers (near-ultraviolet) to 1100 nanometers (near-infrared)
- Solar Charge Time: Approx. 6 hours in full sun light*
- USB Input Charge: 1 Amp, 5 Volts and 5 Watts
- USB Input Charge Time: Approx. 30 minutes
- LED Battery Charge Level: Green 100% - 66%, Yellow 66% - 33%, and Red 33% - 0%
- Li-Ion Battery Protection Circuitry
- Maximum Power Point Tracking (provides ultra power harvesting)
- Voltage Boosting Circuitry
- DC to DC Conversion Circuitry
- Zilog Microcontroller Technology
* Carbon is more than a solar cell connected to a battery. Carbon uses advanced energy harvesting technology including a DC to DC boost converter and maximum power point tracking. Both influence charge time along with battery over/under charging thresholds in place that prevent battery damage.
Carbon’s energy output of 1 Amp, 5 Volts and 5 Watts is designed to power many mobile devices. This includes a variety of smart phones, cameras, and many other mobile devices that are charged by USB. Please check your mobile device specifications to see if your device is compatible. We will also begin to compile a list of compatible devices on energybionics.com.
Carbon started many years ago with an idea to have a wearable solution for keeping our mobile devices powered. Concept sketches turned into form and fit prototypes followed by actual working prototypes. The prototypes being shown are referred to as Design Validation Units (DVU’s) that have been developed using most of the actual planned manufacturing production methods to be used. The DVU’s are a result of a lengthy refinement process that occurred over nearly two years.
Additional small refinements to the Carbon case, watch straps and mini charging connectors should be expected based on what we have learned from the DVUs. These refinements will be influenced, in part, by the feedback we receive from this campaign. Additional refinements may also occur as the prototypes continue to be tested by the engineering team members who have many years of experience with product development. These refinements will ensure Carbon is a high quality product ready for manufacturing and consumer use.
Pre-Kickstarter Prototype Development (January 2012 – January 2014)
- Research and performance testing of wearable solar, thermoelectric and piezoelectric technology
- Identify and source solar, energy harvesting, and battery charging technology
- Develop wearable solar concepts and source all parts
- Complete prototype electrical and mechanical design
- Complete initial programming
- Identify potential manufacturing partners and order prototype case, circuit board, mini charging connectors and watch straps
- Product testing performed by the EnergyBionics Team.
- Develop naming and product packaging concepts
- Estimate Kickstarter fulfillment costs
35-Day Kickstarter Campaign (February 2014 – March 2014)
- Perform product and packaging refinements based on prototype testing and Kickstarter input
- Finalize manufacturing partners
- Begin FCC, ETL and CE testing and certification
- Begin assembly set up
Post Kickstarter Campaign (April 2014 - July 2014)
- Complete pre-manufacturing run, ship beta units to select backers, and 3rd party inspection
- Perform design refinements if necessary
- Complete full manufacturing run
- Shipping arrangements
- Carbon to your door (July/August 2014)
We are offering a new and sustainable way to power your mobile devices. We have spent nearly two years developing and refining Carbon and it's very close to prime time! This is why we need Kickstarter:
> Complete Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Edison Testing Laboratories (ETL) and European Commission (CE) testing and certifications.
You have probably noticed a number of markings on your electronics which identify that the product has received certain certifications relating to safety and compatibility. A global testing and certification company has evaluated the required testing and certifications needed for Carbon and provided a $18,000 estimate to obtain them. Performing the required tests and obtaining the necessary certifications will allow Carbon to be sold and shipped to the following countries:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA.
> Reach minimum manufacture quantities; and
Many manufacturers will not even talk with you unless you are ordering quantities in the thousands. We have found high quality manufacturers to work with us at a lower Kickstarter quantity of around 500. We need your support to reach this minimum order quantity.
> Pay for expensive molds.
There are five parts in Carbon that each require special molds to manufacture the part. Each mold costs an average of $1,200 for a total cost of approximately $6,000.
With your pledge, we have the incredible opportunity to build the next generation in wearable energy. Carbon represents a much needed step towards integrating a sustainable energy source into our daily lives. We hope you are as excited about Carbon as we are and support our project!
Music Credit: A Wolf In Midnight's Garden by Mark C Grant.
Risks and challenges
The EnergyBionics project team was assembled because of their strong experience with product design, development, domestic and overseas manufacturing and product fulfillment experience. It would be foolish for us to think that manufacturing or other challenges will not arise. These challenges will be managed by the strong project team in place.
We anticipate some minor circuit board and/or mechanical refinements based on lifestyle use testing. For example, shake tests may identify some needed mechanical refinements and splash testing may indicate the need for changes to the main housing seal. These refinements could influence the product design but it's not likely by much if at all.
Manufacturing of the Carbon crush proof case, strap, mini charging connectors and the Carbon housing will be provided overseas. We have started to work with various manufacturers as part of developing our prototypes shown. The manufacturers have been responsive and produced samples of excellent quality which is a good indication of what we may expect as part of final product manufacturing.
We understand the importance of the project schedule to backers. We have estimated approximately four months to fulfill orders and realize that we may miss some backing because of this. However, it is more important for us to be as candid as possible about the project schedule so that you are not disappointed later. We believe the four month estimate is a conservative time. However, it is possible that this time could be increased or decreased based on some of the factors discussed.
We realize that you are taking a leap of faith by supporting our project. In return, you will get regular communication and an awesome product. We will communicate with our supporters by the 1st and 15th of each month. By backing our project, you are joining us on a journey and we hope that you will be patient with us along the way. Thanks again for your support!! We can't make Carbon without you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Pledge $115 or more
About $115 USD
Same as the early supporter but jumping in a little later. Because you pledged $115, you will receive ONE CARBON PRECISION SOLAR CHARGER of your choice with a BLACK SILICONE STRAP.Less
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Select this reward
Pledge $130 or more
About $130 USD
New pledge added on 3.8.14! Complete + Analog Watch Package. Because you pledged $130, you will receive ONE CARBON PRECISION SOLAR CHARGER with the ANALOG WATCH, LEATHER STRAP, BLACK SILICONE STRAP and BLACK CRUSH PROOF CASE.Less
- (34 days)