Industry Report: Green Film Shooting
Built to last
- The promise of using a portable digital device anywhere, anytime, hits a wall whenever the battery usage indicator approaches zero. That‘s the reality of it. But here comes the SOL laptop, which never needs to be plugged in for recharging. With its rugged design, it is the perfect computer for film crews shooting on location.
"SOL is the first truly solar-powered laptop“, states David M. Snir, Founder of the Canadian company WeWi.The technical requirement was making the SOL effective in converting sunlight into energy but making it affordable at the same time. "SOL is engineered for extreme energy efficiency“, says Snir. "It can run all night long on its powerful battery when there is no sunlight.“
The computer also recharges while in use. It is even possible to detach the solar panel and use an extension cord, instead. This way, the user can work indoors or in the shade while the computer charges outside. The laptop can withstand the forces of nature as well as abuse. “It is built to last”, emphasizes the WeWi CEO. “We are using durable, reinforced materials, complex military-industrial design and architecture that are all meant to keep the laptop serviceable.” The de luxe SOL Marine model is one hundred percent waterproof and can be used in the rain, on ships, or even under water. “The machine can be submerged without suffering any damage”.
This sustainable laptop has built-in connectivity features such as Wifi, GPS, Bluetooth, and a 3G/4G World/multimode LTE, and it comes with a powerful operating system, Ubuntu. Users can also install Windows if they wish, but many people are happy with Linux. “There are many advantages in using Ubuntu, and part of it is the price”, says Snir, “because there is no price.”
The I/O includes a 3MP camera, two built-in audio speakers, an internal mic, a card reader, an HDMI port as well as three USB 2.0 ports. But an SOL user can do much more than simply check e-mail, browse the web, watch videos, or do Skype conferences. “It is definitely viable for standard video editing, Photoshop or GIMP (the Linux/Ubuntu equivalent)”, highlights Snir. “We are going to improve the CPU very soon.” WeWi’s R&D department is now developing the next model. “The SOL X will have a powerful system that can run the software and 3D tools used in post-production.”