Halo combines canister stove and fuel cell charger
The Halo is a backpacking stove with built-in fuel cell charger for charging mobile devices
Point Source Power, the company responsible for the Voto, is looking to extend its product line with the Halo. Where the Voto is a fuel cell charger that works with an open fire, the Halo is a gas canister backpacking stove with built-in fuel cell charger and dual USB ports.
The Voto is aimed at both outdoor enthusiasts and those in the developing world, two groups that are likely to use fire for cooking, boiling water, etc. While the Voto covers many outdoor users, it doesn't cover those in areas with fire restrictions. Backpackers, boaters and other travelers entering these areas would have no use for a fire-powered charging system.
Stoves, on the other hand, tend to be permissible even where open fires are not. The Halo looks like a typical backpacking stove but it includes a fuel cell that produces 1 Amp of electricity by combining hydrogen in the flame with oxygen in the air. The device comes with a pot stand for cooking and can cook and charge at the same time, similar to the biomass-fueled BioLite stove.
The Halo is a compact, 12-oz (340-g) package that includes the wedge-shaped charging module and circular fuel cell component. The butane/propane canisters common in camping and backpacking work as fuel. It offers two USB ports for charging multiple devices at once.
Point Source Power's CEO and co-founder Craig Jacobson told us that the Halo charges at comparable speeds to other USB chargers and uses fuel at a rate comparable to other backpacking stoves. The device also offers a charge-only setting that fires up to about a third of full cooking power.
Point Source Power is trying to raise funds through Kickstarter to develop the device and is offering the Halo for pledges starting at US$79. If the funding goal is reached, the company hopes to have them shipping by October.
Source: Point Source Power via Kickstarter
About the Author
Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.
All articles by C.C. Weiss
Looking at the top photo with the balanced pot in it, I say this is a potentially scalding tip-over waiting to happen. The device needs some sort of sturdy extendable legs.
I see it as being very useful as a camping tool for those who want to keep their electronic devices charged.
If you go to kickstarter they didn't get funded with only a small portion of the total amount.. I don't believe this is a fuel cell but actually a round zeibec generator, which is basically piezo type device that instead of putting power in to heat and cool it uses the reverse.
I contact Point Source Power to inquire about getting a VOTO which would be perfect for my needs after reading the Gizmag article on it. They told me flat out they would not sell me one. A few weeks later they sent me a link to this kick starter campaign suggesting this product instead. I don't want the Halo (based on the fact that the campaign is a failure I'm not the only one) I want a VOTO. I don't carry fuel when camping as I do all of my cooking over a camp fire which is why the VOTO is perfect. I suspect though that the VOTO is vaporware, there must be a flaw in the design that makes it impractical to produce and was only a design exercise that they never intended to produce though they don't have the honor to admit it. I'm not impressed.
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