I can’t remember who it was, but an engineer talking about energy efficiency said recently “if you’re building something that will be in the sun – a pump, or a telephone exchange, or anything – it better damn well have solar panels on it.”
The windshield of your car is one such place that gets basically endless sunlight. LG have taken advantage of this with their solar-charging HFB-500 bluetooth handsfree kit. It comes with a transparent suction-cup holder so you can stick it on the windshield in a convenient place. I’ve used it for a couple of calls a day for a week, and have never once plugged it in. It just charges magically.
Compared with other bluetooth car kits I’ve tried, and the integrated kits in most GPS recievers, the HFB-500 is damn good. It just works. The speaker is nice and loud, and callers have reported a decent clear call from the other end. And this is coming from my noisy, old Nissan Sunny, cracking along at 100km/h on the motorway.
The controls are simple. One big button for call and hangup (and hold for voicedial if your phone supports it). One button on either side for volume control, and one button for power and pairing. Absolutely no issues pairing with my iPhone, and no issues with disconnection/reconnection when I come to and from the car.
The tech details:
- Solar charging
- Bluetooth Version 2.1
- Multi Connection
- Easy pairing
- Noise Reduction
- Echo Cancellation
- Talk/Standby 15.5 hrs / 1.000 hrs
- Speaker 36? / 1W (Normal)
- Solar Charging 24mAh
- Mute, Un-mute Function
- Auto reconnect
- Last Number Redial
I’m not sure of the price in New Zealand yet, but it retails for about US$80. Check out the importer’s site here.