BioLite's new lantern doubles as a campsite power grid

The Internet of Things goes camping.

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BioLite's new lantern doubles as a campsite power grid

After rolling out a slew of new gear earlier this year, BioLite is ready to announce their next piece of outdoor tech. The BaseLantern is a 500-lumen, flat-packing LED lantern that lights your campsite while also creating "a mini smartgrid" you can control from a smartphone.

On its face, the BaseLantern is a compact lantern, "no larger than the sandwich you pack in your lunch." The lantern's internal battery can do a couple handy things like charge your phone, top off your GoPro for the next day's adventure, or extend the lighting from the campfire to the outhouses with a special port for BioLite's SiteLights string lighting.

But as a lighting solution and battery pack, the lantern also packs a few smart tricks that set it apart: with the Bluetooth LE-connected smartphone app, campers can set the mood with the lantern's color controls and lighting temperature, or check the check battery status and power analytics to see how much juice is left before everything goes dark. The killer feature though? Proximity activation for those times when you're stumbling out of your tent in the dark, looking for a place to pee.

The BaseLantern officially launches on Kickstarter today and comes in two battery sizes: a 7,800 mAh version and a 12,000 mAh version. By their estimates, BioLite says the larger version will last anywhere from 7 hours on a high brightness setting to 114 hours on a low setting. Prices start at $99, or $79 for early supporters. With a successful campaign, the lantern is expected to light campsites around the world when it ships in October of this year.

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