A new concept design that offers solar-powered wireless charging cleverly hidden within a futuristic-like bonsai tree hopes to become a reality with the help of Kickstarter.
According to TechCrunch, the Electree+ started out as a concept by French designer Vivien Muller. Muller attempted to bring the device to market by kicking off pre-orders for the device beginning at $370. Her aim was 400 pre-sales, but the device only shipped to a group of 200 pre-order customers.
The Electree+ has now been redesigned to maximize its solar efficiency. It has also been redesigned to be manufactured in the USA at a much larger volume, and for less money.
The redesigned Electree+ boasts a 14,000mAh internal battery, which when fully charged can fill an iPhone 5 up to and over nine times. It features 27 solar panels at the tips of branches, which can be adjusted to capture maximum light. In order to fully charge, the Electree requires 36 hours in the sunlight, but only needs around 4 hours to build up enough energy to fully recharge your standard smartphone.
Other features, like an optional built-in- NFC chip, mean that it can trigger an action when a smartphone is placed on its surface, in order to put it into dock mode or manage smart home connected devices, like light fixtures and curtains.
The Electree+ has changeable faceplates, if you feel like customizing it to fit your specific style.
The Electree+ has two USB ports, including one designed for devices with lower power requirements like smartphones, and one for tablets which feature faster charging powers. Since the Electree+ uses Qi, it will be able to work with the Nexus 4 and other smartphones with Qi inductive charging coils built-in, but it should also work with iPhones as long as they have a wireless charging case.
Pre-orders for the Electree+ begin at $199. The team behind the redesigned Electree+ wants to hit at least 1,000 pre-sales, or a total funding amount of $200,000 in order to go to production by their May 2013 target ship date.