Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Solar Powered Table That Wirelessly Charges Your Gadgets

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the power-up dept.

Japan 56

greenerd writes "Panasonic recently unveiled a solar table at Tokyo's Security Show that harnesses QI technology to wirelessly charge your gadgets with solar power whenever you place them on the countertop."

cancel ×

56 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Nice idea, but... (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 3 years ago | (#35477944)

If I point the solar panel towards the sun, my gizmos drop on the floor. If I don't, the sun will hardly hit it. Nice thing if you live on the equator.

Re:Nice idea, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479186)

Depends on what type of solar cell you are using. If you are using Graztzel cells, it works pretty well indoors. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dye-sensitized_solar_cell

Re:Nice idea, but... (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35482158)

And you like leaving your gadgets on a table on your front yard during the middle of the day.

And your gadgets don't come with a warning saying not to leave them in direct sunlight for long periods of time.

Re:Nice idea, but... (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483416)

Since I keep my tables indoors, they don't get all that much light, and that's not even counting all the stuff on the table. I'd be better off hanging a 1'sq panel outside and run a wire inside to a charge station.

tingling face, metallic taste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35477946)

Could the elephant in the room also be used to wirelessly charge gadgets?

I guess I need to move (2)

Tigger's Pet (130655) | more than 3 years ago | (#35477958)

I'm not convinced that we get enough sun here in England for half the year. Given how cool and useful this technology could be, it would be nice to see this table built with a mains lead as well, so that when the sun isn't out the table would still recharge your gadgets, but would automatically use the solar power instead when it could. It would be most annoying to have this at home, stick my phone on it to charge when I get home, but then have to plug my phone back into the mains overnight if it hasn't got enough charge.

Re:I guess I need to move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35478118)

This would probably see more use where daylight hours are long - then you just put the table in your sun room that has plenty of windows and you've got a lot of potential charging that can occur.

But if you live somewhere that you have short to normal daylight hours, or don't have a lot of sunny rooms that get long exposure to sunlight, you aren't going to get much use out of the table.

I could see this being useful in a greenhouse or other similar structure where you get full sun exposure but are shielded from the weather.

On the other hand, a table with two outlets and two or four USB ports powered by the mains would probably be faster and more reliable, not to mention let you use more of your table since you don't have to worry about covering the solar panels.

They to make usb jack caps ( 10 for 6 of Type A on amazon ) and those plastic child-proofing caps for outlets as well, so you could even just fill the openings on the table and you'd have your entire surface back.

Stadards, people! (2)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 3 years ago | (#35477960)

The idea is neat. Imagine if most surfaces where people spend some time (e.g. restaurants, cafes and so on) had these. You wouldn't need to fully charge your device in one go but you'd be continually charging them a bit.

Now if only companies could agree on ONE standard so that IKEA could ALSO sell those tables and countertops and what-have-you and they could then charge ALL of your devices, because the tech could be built-in from the beginning by any manufacturer.

I mean, what's the big idea? Should I buy different tables for my HTC Android, for the PSP and the iPod?

Re:Stadards, people! (2)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#35477998)

Radioisotope thermoelectric generators are the future of phone batteries, not all that poncy recharging.

Re:Stadards, people! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35478022)

Hm, I might need to get some bigger pockets to be able to fit the 25+ mm of lead shielding needed for safe operation.

No need for shielding (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35478062)

Hm, I might need to get some bigger pockets to be able to fit the 25+ mm of lead shielding needed for safe operation.

No need for shielding. Just don't put the device in your front pant pockets if you plan to have children in the future.

Re:No need for shielding (2)

bpsbr_ernie (1121681) | more than 3 years ago | (#35478130)

Could this be the solution to unwanted teen pregnancy?

Re:Stadards, people! (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480904)

As an oncologist, I fully support this idea!

I kid, I kid.

Re:Stadards, people! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35481524)

As an oncologist, I fully support this idea!

I kid, I kid.

Do you?

Re:Stadards, people! (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480732)

Should I buy different tables for my HTC Android, for the PSP and the iPod?

I can't imagine Apple or Sony using a proprietary technology or connector when a standard exists.

Apple's devices (1)

nowen2dot (1768088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483280)

Should I buy different tables for my HTC Android, for the PSP and the iPod?

I can't imagine Apple or Sony using a proprietary technology or connector when a standard exists.

Apple's devices only charge on the iTablette.

Re:Apple's devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488462)

And Sony's tables install rootkits on any devices you are charging. But that's OK, because it will only recharge Sony devices with MemoryStick Duo and HDCP. So in the end you will probably just use it as a normal table.

Practicality (2)

snsh (968808) | more than 3 years ago | (#35477964)

A solar-powered table makes as much sense as a solar-powered down comforter or solar-powered underwear.

Re:Practicality (1)

andrea.sartori (1603543) | more than 3 years ago | (#35477970)

Solar-powered underwear would be cool. Or hot?

Re:Practicality (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#35478058)

If your underwear sees enough daylight to get anything charged, then something is wrong. Now sexy underwear on a beautiful girl can charge important parts of me, but the surface covered by such underwear is usually very low, so solar panels would not give much electricity.

Re:Practicality (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35478116)

If your underwear sees enough daylight to get anything charged, then something is wrong

....or very, very right!!

Re:Practicality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35478418)

With most slashdotters, if their underwear sees that much daylight, they're certainly going to get charged with something... indecent exposure maybe?

Re:Practicality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35478490)

Well I could certainly see the sense in solar powered women's underwear - we will just have to pass legislature to make it mandatory with a maximum allowed amount of clothing due to the low surface area if we are going to make any use of such things - seems feasible.

Re:Practicality (1)

Kaitnieks (823909) | more than 3 years ago | (#35478276)

"Come to my place to find out!"

Re:Practicality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35490688)

Thinking it through it seems plausible to begin saying during teleconference meetings," Why yes I am in my underwear. I'm charging my iPad..."

Re:Practicality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479152)

Solar-powered tables make more sense than carnivorous ones IMO.

http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/02/11/your-table-eats-what-carnivorous-furniture-coming-soon/

Re:Practicality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484436)

I'm quite happy with my solar-powered underwear.

Nice but not too revolutionary (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35477994)

Will save a bit of energy at home - and it's got a nice coolness factor. But at home we need of a lot more power than a tabletop of cells. Like covering all the walls and roof with low-cost solar cells will be of some use. What we could use *now* are jackets, hats, backpacks, cellphones and laptops with solar cells built in, to get a little more power when you're *not* near home or any power source.

Won't Work for me (1, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35478008)

My house is dark (to save energy).

Re:Won't Work for me (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 3 years ago | (#35478014)

by commodore64_love (1445365) Foe on Monday March 14, @08:29AM (#35478008)

My house is dark

So's your head sockpuppet son of a whore.

Tokyo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35478030)

I hope it's fucking earthquake, tsunami, and Godzilla proof.

newclear powered rescue; few gadgets required (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35478074)

that's been raised from none (0), so that's good? it says in all the manuals that everything we need is way available to us, once we can see through some of our de/il~lusions, in order to quell our fears. doesn't sound difficult? there are sounds involved. at least nobody's challenged our right to remain silent yet? babys rule, by an overwhelmingly exponential to us majority. they also have longer attention spans & already know stuff we could benefit from learning, & they are more than willing (their mandate) to share with us, unless we allow them to become spiritually atrophic, euthanized, or something(s) even worse, as only we can allow.

won't they need some of those big floppy hats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35478226)

that's right. their unashamed eyes are considerably advanced, exhibiting burgeoning magnetic reasoning (bird like) fractal abilities (meeting the need). yikes. we'll learn to be careful not to force them into excessive solar radiation exposure, because we're distracted. they still burn/damage quite easily. they still love, & trust us to participate in our rescue, & stop killing & starving them everywhere they are gathering... as one, of us.

doesn't the manufactured weather shield their eyes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35478396)

no. it just adds more deception+poison to the equation. just look how 'blind' (mind/spirit) it's rendered us?

wireless my ass (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35478080)

When is this 'Wireless' nonsense going away. It is not an innovation, it is a stupid solution for a non problem and any 12 year old can calculate it has NO future. Plug in the damn phnes.

Re:wireless my ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35478134)

It's the marketing dweebs that push this garbage. We should be spending our technological capital on other problems.

Obligatory. (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35478200)

This is useless, there aren't any solar rays in my mother's basement!

Re:Obligatory. (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35481818)

What do you mean? I got one of these, and then bought a 500 watt lamp that simulates sunlight. I pointed the lamp at the table. Problem solved. I get almost 10w of charging power, which is plenty to charge my phone.

Now I just need to figure out why my electric bill went up by $60 a month. Must be that new electric toothbrush.

People who live in glass houses (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#35478376)

will love this, , not so useful for the rest of us.

Of course we could put the table outside, as long as there is no other weather (rain, snow, dogs etc.)

Re:People who live in glass houses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35480504)

Wouldn't it be nice though to have a solar panel that just powered the table and you could just place the things you want to charge on the table? Just have a small panel outside that generates a little power and a little table inside that inductively charges. I guess in any case you would have to use the same electronics that are in this table, but the solar cells would just go someplace else instead on on the top of the table, which seems way more useful to me..

what's wrong with plugs? (1)

hey (83763) | more than 3 years ago | (#35478622)

Hasn't the world settled on USB plugs for charging.
Induction is not that efficient.

Re:what's wrong with plugs? (2)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480414)

Efficiency is of a lesser concern when the source is hanging there in the sky for hours each day.

Harnesses Qi? (1)

McGregorMortis (536146) | more than 3 years ago | (#35478826)

So, I can recharge my phone by doing yoga?

Is QI worthwhile? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35479458)

I'm not sold on this wireless charging technology. It doesn't seem to add any simplicity, other than just not having to plug in a cord. Other corded charging stations seem to work as well, if you don't mind the extra 0.001 kilocalorie of effort to plug your device in.

It's also relatively inefficient. It has to be to work that way.

Re:Is QI worthwhile? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35482524)

I think this comment hit the nail right on the head. Efficiencies of inductive charging solutions are about 50% of that compared to 2 wires (i.e. a plug). There are those that are touting 70%; however, noone seems to be able to product data to that effect.

What nobody has touched on was effective charging distance. After about 3-4mm of distance between the two devices (i.e. table and phone), you yield zero power delivered to the device. This effectively nullifies the retrofit market. You can no longer build a box that bolts onto the bottom of a table and have it work.

More-so, furniture manufacturers aren't going to incorporate this technology in a wide-spread fashion because there isn't a single unifying standard. The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) is trying to do this; however, I haven't seen any WPC products on the market yet. Powermat appears to be the market leader in this area; however, their power transmission technique is proprietary, though is does rely on the inductive method (i.e. 4mm distance limitation between coils).

When you start seeing products come out using magnetic resonance charging (10-15cm distance between coils), I would get excited. Until then, wireless charging of devices is a pipe-dream as far as the mass-market is concerned.

Re:Is QI worthwhile? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488432)

Why the heck did somebody mark this comment down?

Dude, you were the victim of a drive-by modding.

Re:Is QI worthwhile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35529018)

Clearly... That will be the last time I contribute technical information to this F'd up website.

Re:Is QI worthwhile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35543932)

I noticed that my negative comment towards this web-site was also deleted by a modder. I suppose viewpoints that are in disagreement of /. are not tolerated and must be censored.....

Re:Is QI worthwhile? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35547146)

It does happen sometimes. I won't deny it. Modders are anonymous and that gives some of them the idea that they can willy-nilly mod down anything they disagree with or don't understand.

However, there are a lot of more responsible people too. One of the things this website is good for is learning how to tolerate the asshats that sometimes congregate here. And there is a lot of good stuff here.

BTW, comments don't get deleted, but they can be modded down below our viewing threshold. You need to go to the top of the page and lower your viewing threshold to see those comments.

Umm... Windows? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35479678)

Seriously people - don't you have windows in your homes? Put the table by a window. You know, those glass rectangles that are in the walls that allow you to see outside... Never mind, I forgot who was reading this stuff. Even my windows have shades or curtains over them and if I move them out of the way, people will be able to see me...

Re:Umm... Windows? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 3 years ago | (#35480060)

Seriously people - don't you have windows in your homes?

As a matter of fact... no, I don't. Too much security hassle, and too expensive too!

Re:Umm... Windows? (1)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | more than 3 years ago | (#35483348)

Maybe that would work if you have huge wall sized tables, and nothing blocking the sun like trees, other buildings, or your own roof. For most people it wouldn't work so well, and the cost effectiveness break-even point is sure to be laughable.

Battery life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35480074)

I imagine that this would have a severely detrimental effect on the life cycle of modern batteries.

Solar Powered Table (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35480446)

It is a nice idea. Good way to utilize natural source. I like preservation of electricity.

"wireless" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35482940)

but required to be in direct contact. Ok, no wires does not really mean wireless by today's standard. Especially if it has to be "plugged in" via direct contact.

Lol (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35483544)

Requires the energy of a lightbulb to charge your devices. Epic fail in engineering to build a table for indoors that has a solar panel in it. Of course all the Green Nuts cannot see the flaw in this design, but they are too busy stockpiling hemp to understand why it won't work.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>