Samsung has just announced a solar powered mobile phone.
I am picturing the scene. No more charging means no more need to carry cables on my travels. The only time I'll need a cable is for data synching, which means one cable, permanently tethered to my computer.
It also means I can have a smug look on my face as I use the power of the sun rather than earth-destroying mains to fuel daily requirements for chat and whatever else the phone has on offer.
On that front, detailed specs are sketchy at the moment though the press release does say the phone will feature a pedometer which calculates how much CO2 you've not produced by walking instead of using motorised transport. Hmm, do I hear a gimmick alert? Yes I think I do, as the press release goes on to say "This unique function allows user to calculate the value of this footprint through the number of trees that have been saved." (The errors in that quote are all Samsung’s).
In terms of other features at the very least I'd expect web browsing, a camera, mobile music, mobile email and a bit of gaming. And as this is going to be a touch-screened mobile, maybe there will be a bit more multimedia goodness here too.
Time will tell whether the solar panel can produce enough energy to keep the phone going satisfactorily. Clearly it can't charge overnight via solar, so does that mean taking it out of your pocket at every opportunity so it can catch some rays? Samsung will provide a mains charger so perhaps the company isn’t fully confident solar can do the job unaided.
There's more eco-friendly goodness on offer in the fact that the phone is made from PCM - a plastic made from recycled bottles. And apparently the phone will feature an 'eco mode' switch to help you lower power consumption.
The phone is called Blue Earth. It is due to be available in the second half of 2009. My name is down to see one already.