Recently launched on Kickstarter, the Electree+ is a small, bonsai-sized tree sculpture with solar panels attached to the ends of each white plastic branch. The 27 silicon solar panels on the Electree+ are adjustable based on the placement of the device and the direction of sunlight. Ideally, the device should be placed in an area that’s always in the path of sunlight during the day. According to the creator of the Electree+, it takes a day and a half to completely charge up the 14,000mAh internal battery to full power.
When the battery has a full charge, the Electree+ can recharge an Apple iPad 2 twice, a Samsung Galaxy S III seven times or an Apple iPhone 5 nine times before requiring more sunlight to fill up the battery again. The Electree+ comes with two USB ports for recharging digital cameras, tablets, laptops, smartphones, wireless headphones or any other form of portable electronics.
In addition, the Electree+ includes a Qi wireless charging zone underneath the tree to avoid having to search for the correct USB charging cable. iPhone owners can also take advantage of wireless charging assuming they purchase a Qi-enabled case. Beyond wireless charging, an Electree+ owner can upgrade the device with a NFC chip that can be used to trigger specific actions when a NFC-enabled smartphone is placed on the Electree+. For instance, when an Electree+ owner returns home from work and places the smartphone down on the charging area, a text message could automatically be sent to family members notifying everyone that they are home.
Within the base of the Electree+, the battery is stored underneath the baseplate and acts as the base of the tree design. After the plastic trunk is attached, the user attaches the three main branches that each house nine solar panels on smaller branches.
Since the two USB ports are underneath the baseplate, the creators of the Electree+ have designed the plate to allow for two USB cords to exit the device in order to reach a tablet or smartphone. According to the creator, the Electree+ will come in multiple colors and the baseplates will come in multiple colors.
Regarding the production schedule, the team building the Electree+ plans to use January 2013 to make small tweaks to the design before submitting the design specifications to a manufacturer based in the United States. During February and March, the team will be working to the manufacturer to perfect the prototype and complete the final molds before authorizing full scale production of the Electree+. During April 2013, the team will perform quality assurance tests on the device and make sure wireless charging works correctly.
The team plans to ship the Electree+ solar charging device to Kickstarter backers during May 2013 assuming the full $200,000 is raised. The minimum cost for an Electree with wireless charging and NFC capabilities is $260. Anyone that wants color options will have to pay at least $325 for the solar charging device.
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