We all love our gadgets — our cell phones, our BlackBerrys, our iPods, our laptops. But, as we all know, these gadgets are no good without batteries. Until now. These days, products are harnessing the power of the sun to keep them going … and going and going. Here are our favorites. — J.B.
Need something to hold all your gadgetry? Then why not a briefcase or backpack with a built-in solar generator? Innovus Designs has won awards for its innovative Eclipse Solar Gear bags (two messenger, one backpack), equipped with enough wattage to charge your GPS device, two-way radios, and other popular consumer electronics. $130 to $190. www.eclipsesolargear.com
The most common, and perhaps most obvious, solar-powered device on the market is the one that charges the very batteries that run our high-tech toys. Solar Style’s SC004 Power Bar is only slightly larger than your cell phone and will rejuvenate the batteries for said phone, as well as your PDA, MP3 player, digital camera, gaming device, and more. $30. www.solarstyle.com
Be the first geek to go chic by slipping on German designer Bogner Jeans’ new solar denim jacket, tentatively set for debut next year. It has sewn-in solar patches, so all you need to do is flip up your collar, power up your gizmos, and channel your inner nerd. It’s said to be powerful enough to charge your laptop. www.bognerjeans.com
To be released later this year is the Mega Player 540, an MP3 player that can hold 4 GB of music and — thanks to the solar cells on its backside — a charge for up to eight hours. The manufacturer, MSI, is also coming out with a solar-powered laptop. Both, however, are experimental and not yet ready for mass production. Keep your eyes peeled. www.msicomputer.com