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Novothink unveils Apple-certified solar charger for iPod, iPhone

Surge is a sleek solar charger case for the iPhone and iPod touch.

Novothink

The greening of homes and gadgets is a growing consumer trend, and many exhibitors will debut their eco-friendly products at CES 2010. Last week, we highlighted the Electronic Houskeeper and the PICOwatt, two devices that monitor in-home energy use. Today allows us to highlight the Surge, an iPhone and iPod Touch case with solar panels.

Solar chargers like Solio are chunky and need to be carried around. But the Surge solar case is sleek, ergonomic, and certified by Apple. Two hours of sun exposure power 30-60 minutes of talk time. The Surge features an LED battery-level indicator.

The charger is manufactured by Novothink, a company that vies to pair solar technology and portable devices. The California-based company is focused on creating solar chargers for devices in high demand, as the mission is to allow consumers to live off the grid easily.

The Surge may seem like a gimmick on the face of it, but it might be a perfect solution for Apple iPhone and iPod owners on the go. Emergency chargers are available, but those are often cumbersome, especially for men, who generally don't have the luxury of a purse for portable storage.

Alternatively, the option to replace a dead battery with a backup is impossible for Apple device owners, as the battery isn't (easily) removable.

Those looking to harness the sun's energy will have to fork over $70, but it could be the right investment for consumers on the move. Novothink has already released the Surge for the iPod Touch and will make it available to iPhone users on December 15.