Innovation That Matters

Solar smartphone comes with eco bragging rights


Eco-minded products are all very well and good, but for many consumers the important thing is the green credentials that go with them. A new smartphone from German sports company Puma—launched just last week in Europe through a partnership with France’s Sagem Wireless—promises to serve both purposes by featuring both an integrated solar cell and an eco-metering function that displays all the resulting energy savings. With a tablet form factor, a 2.8-inch thumbable screen, a 3.2-megapixel camera and a VGA video call camera, the Puma Phone is available SIM-free for an estimated retail price of EUR 399; it’s also available subsidised by local operators as part of a contract bundle. The sports-centric phone is shipped in eco-friendly packaging, and just one hour of sunshine provides enough power for one hour and 30 minutes of MP3 play or about 30 text messages, its makers say. Even more interesting is that users can easily see how much of their phone calls, music and messages have been powered by the sun—data that’s eminently shareable for a quick boost in status. According to a report on Gizmodo, solar power usage also translates into points redeemable in the Puma store. Of course, in addition to providing an eco-metering, status-conveying alternative to the rest of the cellphone pack, the Puma Phone is also a nice example of what our sister site would call a branded brand. Makers of other eco-minded goods: what are you doing to help your customers flaunt their green credentials…? (Related: Fitness-focused cell phoneLaundromat reaps solar rewardsEnergy meters get tweetingThermoelectric wellies charge festival-goers’ phones.) Spotted by: Henry Mason



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