Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Power of the Sun in Your Hand

This is part of an article from the September 2007 issue of Promotional Marketing magazine.

At first glance, there doesn't seem to be much that is revolutionary about a solar cell phone charger, but oh how looks can be deceiving. Made by Better Energy Systems of Berkeley, CA, the Solio, a universal, portable hybrid charger, is truly a step (or two) above. With its unique three-blade design and recycled plastic shell, the Solio eliminates the need for "old-fashioned" wall charges by collecting and storing solar energy. Then, once the item is imprinted with a company's logo, end-users simply can pug in a wide array of portable devices such as cell phones, MP3 players, digital cameras and PDAs. For those in gloomier climates such as Seattle, have no fear--Solio also comes with a wall charger in case the sun doesn't shine for some time.

While it provides a cutting-edge electronic device (and turns other electronic items carbon-negative), the true benefit of the Solio may be the effect it has on its users. The company doesn't want simply to provide portable electricity: It wants to change the way people think about the environment. "It's putting renewable energy in peoples' hands in a very personal, renewable way," says Mike Levin, business development manager at Better Energy System. "It's one thing to put solar panels on your roof. It's another thing to put them in you hand where you use them every single day." Furthermore, by making solar technology part of the everyday experience, Solio is seeing its users make environmental steps in other areas. "Our research has found that our users are making other environmentally conscious decisions." added Levin. "We want to break down the barriers of environmental responsibility so people don't have to make these huge leaps in terms of behavior."

In the end though, the makers of Solio know it isn't enough to provide a product both perfect for imprinting and environmentally flashy with its green-ness; they need to provide a device that performs well and stands the test of time. Which they seem to have accomplished.

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