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Solar-powered mobiles to hit UK by 2011?

Sunboost software could be built into handsets

Solar-powered mobile phones could hit the UK as early as 2011, says Intivation.

According to CEO Paul Naastepad, Intivation has developed a new technology called Sunboost that can be integrated into chargers and handsets to ensure they can be charged by the sun's power.

"For years, people have been struggling to use solar chargers in the Western world with several issues. Either they simply don't work with lower levels of sunlight, or they charge so slowly that it's not worth it," said Naastepad.

Naastepad said this led Intivation to develop the next-generation of solar technology that needs only natural light, rather than bright sunlight, to fully charge a device even in cloudy conditions.

Initially the technology, which has already been incorporated into handsets, was primarily aimed at emerging markets, including India and Africa.

However, manufacturers from the US and Europe are beginning to integrate the technology into their products, starting with Xpal, which used the technology in a solar-powered charger.

The Solar Egg from Xpal

Expected to hit the UK later this year, Xpal says the Solar Egg can reach over 90 percent battery charge in just four hours of exposure.

"Solar power is a huge unrealised energy source, particularly in the Western world which tends to have fewer hours of sunlight than developing markets," says Christian Scheder, president of Xpal.

"As personal devices demand more energy and solar charging technology improves, we are making solar power available to more consumers and changing the way people world power their portable devices."

Naastepad also said he hopes the technology could be embedded in other electrical devices including netbooks and iPods.

 See also: Sanyo launches solar charger for gadgets


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