Logitech releases wireless solar keyboard

(Nov. 1) – Amanda Sanyal’s office in the public relations department at Logitech is nowhere near a window, yet her new solar-powered wireless keyboard works like a gem, she said.

Logitech announced today the release of the world’s first known solar-powered wireless keyboard.

As technology has gone more and more wireless, unencumbered keyboards have become all the rage. Logitech sells a lighted wireless keyboard for $99, Sanyal said. The new solar-powered keyboard, while it’s not lighted, is priced at $79.

“We think it fits well within our line,” Sanyal said.

It’s powered by batteries, supplemented by solar cells built into the keyboard, according to the Logitech press release. The cells don’t need direct sunlight in order to produce power. Ambient light in any average office environment is enough, according to the release.

In addition to the integrated solar cells, the keyboard uses advanced battery technology that allows it to continue working for up to three months even in a completely dark room, according to the release.

“We’ve always sort of been focused on reducing our energy usage,” Sanyal said of Logitech. “Our teams started brainstorming, and the solar cells were an idea a long time ago. But when the idea was first conceived, the solar cells were too large.”

As soon as the technology caught up with the vision, Logitech jumped on the opportunity to integrate solar into its keyboards and reduce its footprint, Sanyal said.

To complement its new solar keyboard, Logitech has released a software application that will allow keyboard owners to monitor the activity of their solar keyboards.

The application allows users to see how much energy their keyboards are generating, how much is being stored in batteries and how much is being used, according to the release. It also detects the amount of light in the room and how to optimize the keyboard’s position in order to absorb the most light.

“It’s pretty cool,” Sanyal said. “You can move the keyboard, reposition it on your desk, and depending on where you put it, you’ll see the dials move around.”

The keyboard was just released onto the public market today.