Though the recognition from your peers is nice, the best thing about winning an award is usually the accompanying tour with Muhammad my man, and going each and every place with a mic in your hand. Plus the cash prizes, or whatever. Leveraging an award to bring their sweet gadget to Chinatown, Spokane, London, Tokyo, etc., the dudes behind SolMate.
Conceived by two Seattle geeks with serious tech-industry chops (Texas Instruments, Microsoft), both of whom were frustrated by the dearth of
hot chicks impressed by transistor-laden digital integrated circuits quality solar-powered smart phone peripherals, the SolMate's an iPhone case that charges the sucka while you use it, an idea that won them a CES Design & Engineering award. The aluminum and silicon dioxide glass casing produces a charge from any light source or "inductive power source" using complicated geekery that includes a charging chip, a powerful solar cell, and a proprietary solar power-maximizing technique they're calling the "SolCurve", but not a SoulCurve, as that's just what the screenwriters called it when the plot of Soul Food took some crazy, unexpected turns. The whole thing's run by a power management app that'll increase battery life by up to 30%, and provide users with additional backup power equaling 112%, which is two percent more than most professional athletes give, especially ones who know the importance of taking it one game at a time while leaving it all on the field.
SolMate isn't available to actually enhance your phone until May, but you can pre-order yours right now via Kickstarter, where giving a few more dollars will earn you extras like t-shirts, or dibs on the iPhone 5 version, so you may want to do that, do that, do do that that that (come on).