Soulra solar-powered iPhone dock from Eton


September 7, 2010

Eton has developed a solar-powered  iPod/iPhone dock for the great outdoors - seen here at IFA recently

Eton has developed a solar-powered iPod/iPhone dock for the great outdoors - seen here at IFA recently

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Built to provide music outdoors, Eton's Soulra solar-powered sound system has a rubberized exterior to help withstand the odd bump and being splash-proof too, it's designed to cope with unpredictable weather conditions. When the sun does shine, folding out the high-efficiency solar panel will keep the music playing on whilst also charging the docked device.

Behind the left and right grills to the front of the Soulra's rubberized aluminum casing sit a couple of 11 W full-range speaker drivers which are said to benefit from extra bass boost. Raising the cover in between the speakers reveals the docking bay which, in addition to being compatible with the iPhone, will happily house a host of Apple's music players including various generations of the iPod, the Nano, the Touch and Mini. Should you wish to feed in another music player, there's also an audio line-in socket to the rear.

The underside of the cover contains a 5.11-inch (130 mm) square solar panel made up of high efficiency monocrystal solar cells with a maximum power output of 230 mA / 2 W. Eton says that around 10 hours of direct sunlight is required to fully charge the two-cell 2000 mAh, 7.4V lithium-ion battery pack, or 4 hours via the supplied AC adapter. Once fully charged, the 11.9 x 6.6 x 3.5-inch (301 x 168 x 89 mm) Soulra should give up to "4 hours of audio playback at mid-volume and continuous charging of iPod and iPhone."

Playback control is undertaken via the rather menacing red buttons to the top or with the similarly-styled remote. The Soulra, which is shipped with a protective cover for the docked device, costs US$200

The main features of the Soulra are demonstrated in the following video:

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Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden
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