Hot damn, I love the sun.
It gives us light, Vitamin D, and is the world's foremost nuclear power no matter what Iran and the US do to each other.
Now it's music to my ears.
I'm a music fan. I always have been and always will be, and there is nothing more torturous to me than a long car ride or plane flight without some tunes.
But often the very length of those journeys dictates how long the melody lasts.
Those of us who own portable media devices, handheld TVs, and even cellular phones know how frustrating it is to have to keep the volume low or limit use in order to preserve battery life over a stretch of time.
Now, you can pump up the volume and let the light from the sky juice up your jive.
That's right, UK company Better Energy Systems has developed a portable solar charger for the ubiquitous iPod.
Testimonials on Solio's website make the product seem like God's gift to backpackers – "I have seen the light, and it powered my Pod!"
Okay, so I made that one up. But I can tell you from experience that camping in the mountains, hiking across deserts, and dealing with other fantastic yet arduous endeavors is sweetened by a pair of headphones and the perfect Beatles song for a Tibetan sunrise.
Like a three-petal flower, the Solio charger spreads out enough to harvest a significant amount of sunlight, convert it to electrical power, and feed it to the iPod.
The creation is such a boon to the iPod that Apple features the product on its website. Solio is capable of holding 8-10 hours of sunlight power, which translates to an equivalent amount of battery power.
It can also be plugged into a wall socket, and used with a cell phone.
I am sure that this is just the first we are seeing of Solio, just as other iPod accessory companies like Belkin have had great success and branched out as their original focus has led them into new and exciting product lines.
With peripheral products, an iPod can be turned into a personal organization device (though without pen graphic control), a voice recorder, and even a full stereo system.
The next generation of power doesn't just mean converting switchgrass to biofuel for cars or harnessing wind energy for homes.
The revolution also touches our lives on the most compact level, as our consumption habits veer more and more in the direction of renewable and long-lasting sources for our increasingly integrated lifestyles.
Look for more innovations like the Solio to take personal power to a smaller and more efficient level in the years to come.
Here comes the sun.
– Sam Hopkins