I was looking for more Random Youtubery candidates on youtube and I happened to watch this video for Noon Solar Bags. Yes, the chicks look like hippies and yeah, on the face of it, this is a silly idea, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this is really an idea that have great potential to break out. Most Prius people drive Prii because their friends and family know that, short of being BFF with Al Gore, the Prius is the single best way to stop global warming. Yes, this may shock some people, but some "environmentalists" are actually in it for the image.
What better way to say "I'd fuck Al Gore" than to walk around with a solar panel on your bag? This may further shock some of you, but nearly half of their resellers are in Los Angeles, where down-to-earth is something that can be bought at Starbucks with an Organic, Free-Trade Latte. In their FAQ's they even tell you how you have to use it, to get maximum battery charging:
Place it in your window at work or home, face the panel towards the sun at a café, or walk/bike around town with the panel exposed.Yep, the best way to use it is 100% compatible with telling the world that they can stick their Nalgene bottle right up their ass, because you've got a solar-fucking-panel on your bag. No coal was burnt to power your BlackBerry or your iPod and no petroleum was used to make your bag.
Of course in keeping with their target market, it is delivered with a USB cable, an iPod charger cable and they are allegedly working on a big enough battery to power a laptop.
I truly think that this is, from a business perspective, a brilliant idea. You can not tap into people's greenwashing, faddish nature enough in 2008. Toyota is virtually untouchable on environmental issues, even though they sell one full-size pickup truck and a whole shitload of SUVs. Prius = Good.
I do think that pratically I would like to see a product that could charge a battery in 4-6 hours that could power my laptop for 2-3 hours. I don't see much use in being able to charge my iPod or cell phone (I'm OCD with my phone battery, so I rarely have a problem there) and I'm sure that there are much more practical products out there for iPods, but this type of product does have a certain level of promise.
No word on the price, but I would assume you could buy a cheap laptop (or a few iPods) for the same price as they are charging for these babies.