Over the past several years, we’ve seen a number of bike-mounted products designed to charge the user’s phone using pedal power. Some of these have included the PedalPower+, the EcoXPower, Nokia’s Bicycle Charger Kit, and BioLogic ReeCharge Power Pack. One of the latest such devices, the Siva Cycle Atom, is hitting Kickstarter – and it's quite a bit more compact than most of the competition.
This device can be used in two different ways – directly charging a smartphone, or charging the removable 1300 mAh battery and then connecting another device to that later. Either way, the Siva Cycle Atom has a 500mA charge rate, so it will charge at about the same speed as a smartphone connected to a computer through USB 2.0. If using the battery pack to charge later, the capacity of the battery is enough to bring an iPhone 5 from dead up to 70 percent.
So how does it work? A small gear inside is engaged by the spinning of the back wheel, which then activates a generator. This rotation produces current, which then passes through the internal electronics, where it is converted to usable electricity. This process charges the battery connected to the device like any other battery backup. Once a cyclist arrives at their destination, the battery disconnects, and can be connected to any device with a USB port.
The installation process is billed as being incredibly easy, and not requiring tools. From the looks of the process, if you can take the back wheel off your bike, you should be able to install the Atom with minimal effort.
The Siva Cycle Atom is built to be lightweight, so it should be easy for cyclists to carry around and attach to a bike without altering the balance of the bike. The device weighs 10.58 ounces (300 g) and stands 7.5 inches tall, 3 inches wide, and 1.2 inches deep (19 x 7.6 x 3 cm).
Atom creators Aaron Latzke and David Delcourt are seeking funding on Kickstarter. The project just launched, and has already surpassed US$13,000 of its $85,000 goal. The minimum pledge to snag a device is $85 while the early backer special lasts. After those run dry, a pledge of $95 is required.
The Kickstarter pitch video below provides more information and a demonstration of the Siva Cycle Atom.