Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 14, 2012.

Update #8

Solar Pocket Makeover!


Hi Kickstarter!

We've got three days left in the campaign.  We've hit our initial goal, and the solar pocket factory is happening!  However, the more we can raise with this campaign, the more we can focus on building the pocket factory and shipping panels.  So--let's finish strong!  If you haven't pledged yet, consider supporting our efforts and getting one of the Solar Pocket Kits, a solar arduino shield, Phone charge kit, or one of the higher rewards.  If you've already pledged, but you're interested in more than one reward, you can up your pledge level and mix and match multiple rewards--if you have any questions, message us, and we're happy to oblige.  Pledge, help spread the word, and help us make the world's first crowd-funded advance in cleantech a resounding success!  We're profoundly grateful for every email you send, dollar you pledge or facebook post you make.  

For the rest of the update, here's a video about some improvements I made to the Solar Pocket Factory.  I added a high-speed, high-precision mechanism to place silicon solar cells, assembling them into a panel.  Check it out:

I also want to share an video from the concert in Manila for the Solar Pocket Factory.  It was awesome!  There were some great singers, and it was also great to talk face to face with some of our backers.  A great big thank you to everyone who came out, and an even bigger one to everyone who played and helped put it on.  Without further ado, here's Reese Lansangan singing "Us" by Regina Spektor:

So, that's the news.  Oh!--I want to ask for your feedback.  I'm exploring ways to document and share our progress on the Solar Pocket Factory with all of you, and theres a balance between spending all my time editing video or writing, and releasing piles of dense, unclear footage or technobabble.  It's pretty easy to make updates like this--I just set up a tripod to film me while I work and spend a couple hours editing afterwards, but it's only useful if it conveys what I'm working on and why it's important.  Please let me know in the comments if this video (or videos from other updates) was clear, or if there's parts that were hard to follow or understand.  Documenting work on-the-fly is tricky, and I'm working to get better at it, so I very much appreciate any feedback you can offer.




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      Creator Jared Hudson on September 13, 2012

      I remember when Alex was making mp3 player ear rings. LOL

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      Creator Ariel S. Betan on September 12, 2012

      Thank you for giving a talk at the Y4IT event. Glad to have met you Alex, this is the first time we met a kickstarter project initiator/hacker/inventor. Hope to meet you again in future events.

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      Creator Amy Sheck on September 12, 2012

      the music you play with each video is so important to me

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      Creator Rommel Feria on September 12, 2012

      Nice to have finally met you, Alex! :) Hope we can invite you to talk in our other events... there is one in Cebu soon. :)

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      Creator Echo Chow on September 12, 2012

      - agree with one subject in each update, easy to follow.
      - happy to see updates other than engineering topic.
      - I personally, consider regular update (i.e monthly update) is better than update after any breakthrough. As I need time to load what's happen in last updates and my interest on the project is diminishing.

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      Creator Arnold A Sitorus on September 11, 2012

      - the average time of giving attention for general is about 1-2 minutes, so try to make the movies in short segment and one subject each.
      - use of multiple cameras for multiple angle than edit it later to give more dinamic views, just like when you staring at an unanimated object or driving in a flat scenery (highway) tend to make the mind wondering away. also useful for close-up and wide angle alternatively.
      - use a separate mic (wearable wireless will be great) to have more clear speech/sound.
      - use of pre written script to avoid 'babbling' and for planning ahead of what necessary and interesting to say and stick to it. maybe using 'teleprompter' or just write it on a paper (not necessary exact words, just the points).
      - extra lighting than what's already there to liven up the scene to be more interesting.
      - reduce the clutters. make the scene as simple as possible to not to distract from main subject.

      You can try to set up the working area to be 'filming friendly' in the beginning and then work as usual and just turn on the cameras etc when you want to start filming.

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    79 backers

    Take us out to lunch--Inventors gotta eat. Lots of famous kickstarter-ers put up rewards where you can pay $10,000 to get lunch with them. We're not that famous, so instead, _you_ can buy _us_ lunch. Give us whatever you feel like, and in your message to us, tell us the fanciness level of the restaurant we should go to. We'll take a picture of us eating the cheapest thing we can buy and send it to you. If you're in Manila or Hong Kong, come eat with us!

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    Early Bird Special--Our first 140 backers get a whopping 28% off our kit. This is the same Solar Pocket Kit you see below, but at a low low price for our early backers. Look at you! You're punctual, excited about solar energy, and you've got great taste in shoes. You really oughta reward yourself with a kit to make solar panels. And, international shipping is included!

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    The Solar Pocket Factory Book--Read the story of our next year as we work to change the way the world makes small solar panels. Chock full of dreams, designs, plans, stories, freaks, We want to open up not just the invention itself, but talk about the people and motivation behind the invention, the different tacks we try to get the thing to work and to bring our idea out into the world. Now with more truth! Free shipping, anywhere in the world.

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    The Solar Pocket Shield--This shield is the easiest way to use cleantech to power your arduino project. This is an assembled and tested shield that harvests energy using a built-in solar panel, providing a constant 5V to your arduino while storing excess charge in a built-in battery. Just plug it into your arduino and the shield takes care of the rest!

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    The Solar Pocket Kit--This kit comes with everything you need to make your own solar panels quickly and easily. Convert all your portable electronics to solar power, come up with your own solar creations, and just experiment with making solar panels. Every kit has an assortment of pre-cut solar cells, glue to assemble strings of the cells, waterproof covering for your panel, a length of copper tape and small magnets. Free international shipping!

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    Double pack--Solar invention is more fun with two! Get two Solar Pocket kits and save $10. Give one to a friend and make some solar panels together! Nothing says friendship like sunshine and silicon! Free international shipping!

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    61 backers

    Solar Experimenter's Kit--This is everything you need to make your own solar panels from scratch and explore the potential of the power they produce. Each pack includes a Solar Pocket kit with everything you need to make your own solar panels, as well as an assortment of stuff to power off solar--high-powered LEDs, a transistor radio, a DC motor, assorted phone charge cables (not for smart phones--if you're interested, check out our solar phone charging kit below), and a nickel metal-hydride battery pack. The kit also comes with a manual with step-by-step instructions showing how to build your panels and run experiments. Perfect for classroom activities, science fairs, and just experimenting with solar on your own. Every kit comes with trace amounts of our DNA! The free shipping fairy will bring these kits to your doorstep.

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    Sunlover's package--For people who love to make solar, we're bundling our standard Solar Pocket Kit with a large assortment of extra solar cells. In addition to everything that's in the kit, this package includes one hundred of our standard pieces, and fifty pieces each of our thin and stout pieces. Make solar projects galore! Free international shipping is part of the deal.

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    142 backers

    Solar Phone Charge Kit--Keep your phone charged with solar you built from scratch! This is a bundle of our Solar Pocket kit, a high-capacity Lithium-ion battery and a Seeed Studios' LiPo Rider Pro circuit. The Solar Pocket kit has everything you need to make your own solar panel, and the LiPo Rider circuit board comes pre-assembled and takes care of charging up a lithium battery and providing a regulated power output that can power most iPhones, Galaxy, Blackberry, and other Smartphones . The LiPo Rider outputs to a female USB port that can accept any USB charge cable--you supply your own cable and phone. And you just _know that shipping is gonna be free, anywhere in the world.

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    The "I love what you're doing and want all of it!" reward -- You get the Solar Phone Charge Kit and a copy of our book, fresh off the presses. Additionally, we will send you an eight by ten color glossy photograph of the machine you help create, signed robotically by the Pocket Factory. The Phone Charge Kit ships in February '13, and the book ships in September 2013. As always, free international shipping!

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    Classroom kit--get three Solar Pocket kits and two Solar Explorer kits, enough for ten students to simultaneously tinker and discover new things about solar! Free international shipping!

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    Friend Of The Sun!--You get the solar charge kit, the book, AND we will write a song in your honor and program the pocket factory's stepper motors to play a digital solo. You can choose from the following premises for the song: (a) what your life would be like if you were a viking, (b) if you were an astronaut, how you would deal with loneliness, or (c) an instrumental electronica piece based on mapping the frequencies from a 2D fourier transform of your facebook profile photo to different scales, played entirely by the Pocket Factory Actuator Orchestra. We include a youtube video of the Pocket Factory playing the song and a printed poster of the algorithmically generated source code that creates the music.

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    Solar Sea Haiku! -- We mail you an electronic, solar-powered plush sea animal shouting a mildly obscene yet flattering haiku written about you in a language that you do not speak. Also, you get a Solar Phone Charge Kit and a copy of the book, but really, you're in it for the offensive solar-powered stuffed octopus. (sea creature plush toy is at our discretion; a haddock, mantis shrimp, coho salmon, and octopus are all under consideration)

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    Make Your Mark On Solar--For the first year of Solar Pocket Factory production, you'll get a 1" x 1" space on the back of every panel we ship, and you can fill that space with any image, pattern or text you wish (must be classy). We'll be laser-marking the backs of each solar panel the pocket factory produces to mark down the power output and quality check of the panel, and we'll use this same laser to mark down the image you provide, as well. Naturally, you also get the Solar Phone Charge Kit, a signed copy of the Solar Pocket Factory Book, and something pretty and undisclosed.

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    World's Best Solar Pocket Party!! We will bring the Solar Pocket Factory to any city, village, or pastureland on this wonderful planet of ours. And we're gonna rent out that pastureland, apartment, industrial building, or airplane hanger (depends on location). And we're gonna throw a two-day solar energy party unheard of since Helios drank so many photons he had to change his name to Apollo. But this isn't just about glorious solar bacchanal. We're gonna have a fully operational Solar Pocket Factory as a centerpiece after all, and that means we are making some solar panels. One hundred solar smartphone chargers to be exact. Made of old bottles of whiskey, 3D printed cases, coasters, potted plants -- solar craft in one giant make, with the Solar Pocket Factory. Oh, and one more thing--Here's where it will take a true visionary, a true humanitarian, and true lover of the sun to grab this reward: All the party goers are gonna paint the town solar. That means we are going to take those 100 solar chargers made in the party and peel-and-stick them around your city. Think solar charging utility, rising from the crowd! Bike racks, lamp posts, friendly coffeeshops -- wherever we can add a solar charger, we will in one glorious night of solar sharing. The idea is these chargers will be geotagged so that people in your town can find them whenever they need a charge. It's a giant experiment in solar power, flashmob-style. Invite up to a fifty of your closest friends -- you have to provide your own transportation and we will provide the rest. We'll be your hosts and help ensure everyone makes a functioning charger and gets them into town for all to benefit from -- and has a weekend to tell their kids about. And we'll provide all the accoutrements that come with a party of this magnitude. + some surprises. We may be geeky, but we know how to throw invention parties. Search "TacoCopter Party" for reference. This reward can be fulfilled anytime between June - Dec 2013; we will do our best to match your schedule request, but message us if you have a very specific date in mind right now so we can confirm it will work

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Funding period

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