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April 27, 2005

New Solar Backpack Charges Your Gadgets

Personal Tech Pipeline

A company called Reware plans to start shipping May 1 a new, $199 solar power-capable tote bag that charges your gadgets as you walk around in the sun.

Called the Juice Bag, the back pack enables you to plug in any gadget using a car lighter adapter. A flexible, waterproof solar panel generates 6.3 watts in direct sunlight and somewhat less when it's overcast, according to the company. It charges a typical cell phone or music player in between 2 to 4 hours.

The pack features concealable backpack straps, a removable shoulder strap, a briefcase handle, an external mesh water bottle side pocket and exterior gadget pocket. It comes six colors: black, grey, green, red, yellow and camouflage. A special padded compartment is designed for a laptop. The pack is 15" wide, 18" long and 4.5" deep.

Reware plans to start selling accessories for the bag starting at the end of May. Optional accessories include storage batteries, which gather sunlight energy that you can use to charge gadgets later. Different versions of the storage battery will be available for larger electronics, like laptops, and smaller ones, like mobile phones. They'll also sell a connector cable for wiring together two bags, and a twin socket for charging more than one gadget at once.
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