Nokia's Bicycle Charger Kit a stroke of genius
By Darren Quick
June 4, 2010
Cyclists are already doing their bit to help the environment by eschewing a fossil-fuel guzzling transport option. Now they can do a little bit more using Nokia’s newly unveiled Bicycle Charger Kit which lets cyclists charge their mobile phone using pedal power. The kit employs a bottle dynamo that is driven when in contact with the front wheel like those found on ye olde time bicycle lights.
Charging times will obviously vary depending on the phone and cycling speeds, but Nokia says cycling for 20 minutes at 20 kmh (12.4 mph) will power up a Nokia 1202 for around one hour of talk time, or 74 hours of standby time. Charging starts when the cyclist hits walking speed, or around 6 km/h (3.7 mph), and at 12 km/h (7.4 mph) it will charge your phone as efficiently as a mains charger. And there’s no need to worry about going to fast and sending a power spike to your phone as the charger will cut out if you somehow exceed 50 km/h (31 mph).
The kit consists of three components: a bottle dynamo, charger and a phone holder. The bottle dynamo fits to the front of the bike with a mounting bracket, while the charger and phone holder attach to the handlebars so you can see the charging progress and carry out a hands-free conversation or listen to music on your phone’s speakers.
The phone holder is rubberized to protect your phone from vibrations and comes with a transparent bag to protect your phone from dirt and weather. The charger also boasts an ultrasonically welded case and clear coating on the electronics. Both the charger and holder can be easily removed whenever you park your bike to prevent theft of the unit.
Nokia’s Bicycle Charger Kit is compatible with any Nokia phone with a 2 mm charging interface and is easy to install. I only hope that the bottle dynamos have improved in the couple of decades since I used one to power a light on my early morning paper route.
The idea of using pedal power to charge mobile devices isn’t new. There are other chargers such as the PedalPower+ we looked at last year that charge not only mobile phones, but also GPS units and MP3 players. But with Nokia still retaining top spot in terms of mobile phone sales there’s sure to be a market for a Nokia specific charging option such as this.
There’s no word from Nokia on pricing or a release date for the Bicycle Charger Kit as yet.