There have been a lot of developments in the world of mobile devices. And as phones and tablets have become quicker and higher-spec, battery life has often improved too. But despite batteries' ever-longer life spans and increasingly efficient energy-saving modes, they still have to be charged regularly, probably more often than we'd like, and often in awkward places at awkward times. The market has developed some solutions to cover that too - things like solar chargers, and mobile battery packs, that mean you don't have to rely on nearby plug sockets to recharge your device.
Now a Spanish company called Arkyne Technologies has developed an intelligent flower point, a way of charging your phone that, as well as using a source of renewable energy, could be said to be quite literally green. The flower pot is known as the Bioo Lite, and transforms the leaves of the plant in the pot into a form of solar cell.
But How Does the Bioo Lite Work Exactly?
The flower pot has a built-in system that that uses waste products from plant photosynthesis to create energy, and thus generate electricity. To put it simply, the flower pot is home to bacteria. These bacteria break up the chemical bonds that are formed during photosynthesis, releasing electrons in the process. A nanocable is used to capture the electrons, and they're transmitted through a USB cable. Just connect your charger to the USB port (here in the form of a stone) and let your tablet or phone tank up.
The water needed for the photosynthesis is regulated via a tank system that is automatic and stops any wastage. The Bioo Lite charger is ready to be used day and night, and apart from cacti, any kind of plant can be planted in the pot.
It's worth noting that not every plant generates the same amount of energy, but normally a healthy plant should be able to manage two or three charge cyles a day.
The developers of the product started a crowdfunding project on indiegogo.com in order to fund their idea and their original goal of 15,000 EUR was already met long ago - they're now at over a whopping 85,000 EUR and counting. They're planning to get the USB flower pots out on the market by the end of this year.
If the Bioo Lite flower pot lives up to its promise, this product could have a really interesting future. The idea is really neat, and the whole concept has clearly sparked the public's imagination. And although a product like this clearly won't be making any big dents in our energy consumption, even if it really does catch on, as a gimmick it's a great way of reminding us where our energy comes from, and of the simple but powerful forces of nature.
This article was translated from the original by Simon that appeared on our German language platform.