Highlights from Interbike 2014

SOSCharger keeps phones juiced even when there's no electricity

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April 5, 2013

Using the hand crank of the SOSCharger to provide power to an iPhone

Using the hand crank of the SOSCharger to provide power to an iPhone

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When there's a natural disaster or bad storm, power outages are almost guaranteed. This can be an annoyance during a minor storm, but during a more serious disaster, a lack of power can mean not being able to get in touch with friends, loved ones, and in the worst of situations, help. The SOSCharger is designed to combat this by allowing users to keep their phone charged with a simple hand crank.

SOSCharger's main feature is the crank that generates power during a situation where electricity isn't available, but it also includes a 1500mAh rechargeable battery. The idea is to keep the battery charged so it's prepared when you need it, and to use the crank in an emergency once that runs out.

The crank portion of the SOSCharger will provide 5-12 minutes of talk time for every 3-5 minutes of cranking. Of course, the reason for such a wide range is the vast difference between the power demands for different phones and devices. The handle of the crank was designed to be extra long and features a grip, which is meant to make it easier to turn for an extended period of time.

A standard USB port is included, so any device that charges with a USB cable will work with the SOSCharger. Obviously, more power-hungry phones will suck down the limited charge of the battery faster, especially if there is no electricity and the hand crank is being used to power the device.

Plenty of indicator lights are included to let users know the exact status of the device. Three LEDs inform the user of how much power the SOSCharger has, and an active charge light shows whether a device is currently receiving power from it. An included power switch is included to keep the battery from draining unnecessarily during periods of non-usage.

SOS Ready, the company that created the SOSCharger, is actively seeking funding on Kickstarter. The starting goal was US$27,000, and the project has surpassed that by a large margin. The minimum pledge to purchase an SOSCharger is $35, which the company estimates will be well below the final retail price of the device. Backers should receive their chargers in August of this year.

The Kickstarter pitch below provides more information on the SOSCharger.

Source: SOSCharger via Kickstarter

About the Author
Dave LeClair Dave is an avid follower of all things mobile, gaming, and any kind of new technology he can get his hands on. Ever since he first played an NES as a child, he's been an absolute tech and gaming junkie.   All articles by Dave LeClair
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8 Comments

I wonder how much the battery weighs. Is it worth the effort of carrying the battery around to avoid having to crank to charge the phone the first time.

Slowburn
5th April, 2013 @ 05:34 pm PDT

Interesting concept.

What's the limitation on charging time? Could it be mechanically geared to give higher rpm and faster charging?

Could it be adapted for harvesting human kinetic energy?

SAA
6th April, 2013 @ 10:28 am PDT

Looks like it could actually work in case of emergency. Existing similar devices seem to be very flimsy.

sascha.kremers
7th April, 2013 @ 12:22 pm PDT

Instead of asking about the battery weight - ask yourself how much battery capacity you could fit if u skipped the cranking part.

I'd rather have a 5-10h emergency battery than a crank that would occupy both my hands during a call.

Furthermore how many hours of cranking would the device handle before it breaks down - 5h? 25h?

Hand power seems intuitive and fun, but a spare battery or two goes a longer way.

Alexander Engman
8th April, 2013 @ 07:35 am PDT

Interesting. This might have come in handy during hurricane Sandy. Unfortunately, the kickstarter campaign lacks crucial technical details like max output from the hand crank (or any useful output figures for that matter). Thus, I'm not sure I have same same amount of faith in this team to make it work as I do with, say, the WakaWaka Power team. No skin off their back though since they're already hit the goal.

Stradric
8th April, 2013 @ 08:14 am PDT

re; Alexander Engman

Your phone has a battery.

Do you have any evidence to support that it won't last 2000 hours or more?

Slowburn
8th April, 2013 @ 12:46 pm PDT

Weight will likely be similar to a smart phone or 7" tablet.

Mr. Engman, two hands would not be required if the device case was designed to allow clamping to a fixed surface. Improved cranking efficiency would be another benefit.

Noel Frothingham
8th April, 2013 @ 10:03 pm PDT

I am really surprised at the amount of recycling happening in ideas department. Rollei of Germany had a hand crank for charging their SL66 6x6 format camera batteries to overcome the situation of running out of juice. I am talking about 35 years ago !

BTW we have had Chinese make dual LED flash lights that are charged by integrated hand crank selling for $ 0.20, for more than 5 years now.

pmshah
8th April, 2013 @ 10:35 pm PDT
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