Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Nokia watches kudos for Konarka

Konarka Technologies Inc. should be energized by today's double dose of decent press. The power-plastic company was chosen as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and was named to Red Herring's Top 100 Innovators list. Konarka's "photovoltaic nanotechnology" promises to harness light to give your portable devices the long-lasting power you need. Maybe your laptop will stay alive during a flight to Australia.

Mobile phone firms like Nokia, of course, would love a cheap, light strip of plastic to energize their devices, too. Sources tell me that Nokia is leaning heavily on Konarka to supply a solar-powered battery recharger that Nokia wants to market with its phones for the 2005 holiday season.

The recharger will be plastic, and unroll or unfold from a phone carrying case. Just spread it out in the sunlight, and it will recharge the phone battery wherever you are. Will the product be ready? Well, Konarka has attracted a ton of VC money, and with a company like Nokia leaning on it for a product, you can bet that they're not going to waste a lot of time celebrating today's announcements. They've got some work to do.

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