January 26, 2006 3:37 PM PST

Solar golf bag charges cell phones

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Just when you think you owned everything you could possibly ever need, a Dutch company has unfurled a golf bag with solar panels that can charge a phone.

The Soldius Solar Golf Bag holds clubs and balls like any other golf bag, but it also includes integrated solar panels that can be used to charge personal electronic items. The bags come complete with charging tips that can connect to phones and handhelds from Nokia, Samsung, Sony-Ericsson, Motorola and Research In Motion. Charging time is dependent on sunlight.

Soldius solar chargers

A charging tip for iPods is sold separately.

The bags will be available soon on Soldius' online store and other retailers. The four bag models range in price from $200 to $800, said a spokesman. The $800 bag is made of leather.

Although solar powered calculators have been around for years, some manufacturers are integrating solar cells into different items. The movement in part is coming about because solar engineers have come up with solar cells that are made out of thin films that can be integrated into other products or painted onto surfaces.

Konarka, one of the more widely watched thin film solar specialists, is developing a solar fabric that can be used to make tents or clothes. HelioVolt, meanwhile, has inserted solar-energy harvesting capabilities into building glass and roof tiles.

Soldius, which actually relies on traditional silicon solar panels in many products, already sells a solar-powered charging pad for cell phones.

And if you need more for your golf fan, Nanodynamics last year began to sell its nano-enhanced golf balls with a hollow metal core and specialized casing that can correct slightly for hooks and slices while in flight. A dozen balls sell for $59.95 on the company's Web site. A dozen balls without the metal core (a key part of the technology), but with the specialized casing, sell for $39.95.

 

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