Carbon is a wearable solar charger that doubles as an analog watch

by: Andrew GrushMarch 10, 2014

There are a great number of wearables that are competing for room on your wrist these days, including Samsung’s Gear 2 and Gear Fit, Pebble, Sony’s Smartwatch 2, Fitbit and countless others. Most of these devices are either fitness trackers, smartwatches or both. The Carbon wearable doesn’t fit into either of these categories, but it’s still pretty intriguing.

Instead of giving us fitness tracking or advanced computing functionality, Carbon is nothing more than a bulky analog watch — at least on the surface. What really makes Carbon worthy of your attention is that it also functions as a solar charger designed to add roughly “three hours of extra talk time” to your smartphone.

The device charges as you go about your day and stores the energy to an on-board 800 mAh battery. When you need some more juice for your handset, you simple twist a cap on the side that reveals a port for inserting a microUSB cable, which you can hook up to your phone.

While Carbon is pretty thick looking, it’s actually reasonably attractive looking and comes with either a coal (black) or slate (silver) design alongside a leather strap. There are also additional color options for the accents, though it adds to the device’s overall cost.

So how do you get your hands on Carbon? Unfortunately, you can’t just yet, as it is currently a Kickstarter project. If you are interested in the wearable you can secure your copy for a pledge of $95 or $130. The $95 model is only a charger, however, and doesn’t include the analog watch component.

Overall, we like the idea of the Carbon wearable, though we find the price kind of hard to swallow when you can get a traditional battery backup device with much more power than this for a fraction of the cost. Of course, you can’t wear those or recharge them using the sun. What do you think, like the idea or not?

For more details on the Carbon solar charger wearable, be sure to check out the official Kickstarter page!

  • Jayfeather787

    Now this looks like one awesome smart watch!

  • This isn’t going to work pratically as an actual charger… It will basically end up being a solar watch, which there are already plenty of. Also you can buy lith ion battery packs with solar panels on them.

  • Stefan

    This would be awesome if carbon was a smartwatch too. But it’s hard to justify the bulkiness of the device if it only charges your phone for 2-3 hours.
    Maybe if they use flexible batteries in the next generation they can make it smaller.

  • The Breaker

    I don’t know about you guys, but i like wrist watches, especially analog ones (the only digital one i was/am wearing is my current one), so if my watch can double as my charger, then i’m all in for it. Of course, even if it gets made, it’s a question will it even make it to my country :(

  • John A

    Hmmm, it’s an interesting concept.

  • Southern Bar

    The primary use of this is emergency battery backup power. For $95-130 you could buy three 10000mah battery chargers that will charge the average phone 3-4 times each. They didnt mention how long it would take the solar to make a full charge which leads me to believe that it is just a gimmick. They might be better off making a battery that attaches to the bottom of chapstick, handsanitizer or incorporate this idea into a fitness tracker that clips on to your waist(*hint* maybe with bluetooth to xfer data to a phone *hint*). Most people wont want the extra bulk on their wrist and the people this does appeal to already have a galaxy gear or motoactiv(which is by far the best smartwatch to date).