Solar-Powered Keyboard Works in the Dark
Logitech today announced its first light-powered keyboard, a wireless keyboard that can charge itself even with indoor light.
A fully charged keyboard can work in total darkness for up to three months, Denis Pavillard, vice president of product marketing for Logitech, said in a statement. Integrated solar panels located at the top of the keyboard absorb light for power, eliminating the need for power bricks or charging cables.
A solar power app compatible with Windows 7, Vista and XP is available for download on Logitech's site. It features a lux meter, offers at-a-glance battery level status and sends automatic alerts when power runs low.
A lux meter, a device typically used by photographers, measures the visible light spread over a given area. For instance, the app would indicate about 50 lux in a family room and up to 500 lux in an office. The keyboard itself also features a power-indicator light to prevent an interruption in use.
While power is critical, the design of the keys themselves is important for comfortable use. The solar keyboard has "chiclet" style keys with adequate spacing between them and a numeric keypad, essential for Excel users.
A tiny 2.4-gigahertz dongle, Logitech's Nano Unifying Receiver, provides connectivity between the keyboard and a computer. Like a USB flash drive, the dongle is inserted into one of the computer's USB ports, but because it protrudes only .31-inches from the port, it can be left in a computer without risk of being knocked off. The receiver supports up to six Unifying-compatible Logitech peripherals, so adding a wireless mouse won't mean using another USB port.
Logitech Advanced 2.4 wireless includes 128-bit AES encryption with the keyboard for signal protection. AES encryption was adopted by the NSA and has been deemed adequate for some government classified information.
The Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 will be available in November 2010 for $80.