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New GreenZero chargers eliminate vampire power drain

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January 3, 2012

The Mushroom charger from Bracktron eliminates vampire power when charging mobile devices

The Mushroom charger from Bracktron eliminates vampire power when charging mobile devices

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The spring-loaded PumPing Tap concept that would eject electrical plugs from an outlet when not actively drawing electricity attracted a fair share of criticism from readers when we looked at it earlier this week. Bracktron has come up with a more practical solution with its line of GreenZero chargers that detect when the device being charged is unplugged or fully charged and automatically shut off to eliminate stand-by - also known as vampire power - consumption.

Bracketron's GreenZero line includes the Mushroom and Stone chargers. The first features a large green "mushroom" button that is pressed to start charging a connected device and will pop out when charging is complete. The underside of the mushroom button also acts as an integrated cable reel for taking on the road. The Mushroom charger is available in three models - one for USB connections, another for microUSB, and a third that includes an Apple 30-pin cable for iDevices. Meanwhile, the Stone GreenZero charger is a more compact unit designed for mobile devices charged via USB. However, the design of both the Mushroom and Stone chargers suggests they might be outlet hogs on a power strip.

The Mushroom charger starts charging with a press of its 'mushroom' button

Rounding out Bracktron's GreenZero line is the Stone Battery. It is a portable power supply designed to power up mobile devices on the go. The 1000 mAmp battery will charge mobile devices for up to three hours with an LED indicator letting you know when the device is fully charged, at which point it will automatically switch off. Bracketron offers two models, one with an embedded cable for microUSB devices and the second with an Apple 30 pin cable for iPhone, iPod and iPod touch.

Bracketron will be showcasing its GreenZero line at CES 2012, before a U.S. release in March. The Mushroom chargers will be priced from US$24.95 to $29.28, while the Stone charger will retail for $22.56.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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4 Comments

1000 mAmp battery? for how long? and why not 1 Amp? Don't forget that batteries are rated mA/h - the amount of power they can source for a certain time...

agulesin
4th January, 2012 @ 05:13 am PST

Problem is the total cost of buying a power saving device for each of your appliances, TV's, computers, printers, etc. would be equal to 1,000 years of just paying for the wasted power.

This is like most other "environmental" ideas that sound good on paper - there is no reasonable way to justify the cost.

robo
4th January, 2012 @ 09:49 am PST

Agree with robo. As much as I'd like to be more environmentally responsible, even in small doses like this device addresses, my budget is strapped so tight that unless it's going to save puppies directly I have to be able to recover the financial investment within the device (or my own) lifetime.

It's a good idea, though. Hopefully others will find a way to make it cheaper and for a larger variety of appliances.

CaseyVR6
4th January, 2012 @ 02:16 pm PST

Charging a phone using this is a bad idea. When the phone is done charging and it kicks off then the battery will start to drain.

Ethan Brush
4th January, 2012 @ 03:46 pm PST
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