Bookeen offers a range of eBook readers including models with big screens, small screens, and optionally front-lit displays.

Next year the company plans to launch something new though: an eBook reader with a built-in solar panel that lets you recharge the battery just by leaving the eReader in a well-lit area.

bookeen solar

Bookeen and SunPartner are working together on the new eReader. It will will use SunPartner’s Wysips (What You See is Photovoltaic Surface) technology.

What that means is that the solar panel could be built right into the screen. That way you won’t even see the solar panel and you won’t have to turn the eReader over to expose its backside to the sun to charge the battery. The device may even be able to charge while you’re reading a book.

Small solar panels don’t typically have enough surface area to generate a lot of electricity — but eReaders don’t use a lot of electricity. So a solar-powered eReader makes a lot of sense. Instead of having to plug in the eReader to recharge the battery once every few weeks, you might be able to go months at a time or even longer without connecting it to a wall jack.

via The Digital Reader

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5 replies on “Bookeen to launch solar-powered eReader in 2016”

  1. What would push this from PR stunt to useful is if they could eliminate the battery and just use a supercap. Offer an e-reader designed to last decades instead of a couple of years until the non-replacable battery craps out. Don’t know if they can harvest enough energy to make that practical though. Probably could do it on a reader without WiFi but you can’t tether to a store without WiFi and that seems to be the actual purpose of readers and tablets.

    1. Supercaps loose charge too fast to use them in e-readers, where a charge usually holds for several weeks. Also, since the total charge count is so low in an e-reader, their battery holds out for much longer, in theory they could easily last a decade. The e-paper display develops errors way before the battery craps out.

    2. Considering their current high-end reader only offers 1024×768 resolution in an 8″ screen… I’m not sure a solar-powered unit built this year would be useful to anyone in decades.

      I get that semi-disposable electronics are wasteful, but as long as display/refresh and storage technologies keep improving at this pace, that’s pretty much the market we have.

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