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Charger

The TYLT Energi+ backpack features a huge battery that can charge three devices at once

Not long ago, a backpack was a simple device, one made for carrying books, small personal items, and other stuff. Then, something changed, and backpacks started evolving. Now it's not at all uncommon to find a backpack that can actually charge the electronic devices within it. One such model is the Energi+ Backpack from TYLT, which I've been using for the past couple of weeks. It's not the first backpack equipped with a battery, but is it the best?  Read More

The FlameStower – where there's fire, there's electricity

We're constantly seeing inventors attempt to create new and interesting ways to charge our cell phones. VOTO is one product we've seen that uses fire to charge our smart devices, and now a new take on the idea is hitting the scene. Called FlameStower, it utilizes very similar technology, but with a few twists.  Read More

The Mipwr Dynamo is an iPhone case with a hidden lever that can be pressed down repeatedly...

There are already a number of gadgets available that are powered through good old-fashioned mechanical energy, but those usually involve cranks that can be uncomfortable to use and bulky to carry around. Mipwr Dynamo represents a different approach: it's an iPhone case with a hidden lever that can be pressed down repeatedly to charge the battery, but is still slim enough to fit in your pocket.  Read More

The ClicLite, spied at IFA 2013

There are already a number of solar-powered phone charger/LED light combos out there, but the ClicLite is a little different from the rest – “little” being the key word. At just 4 x 4 cm (1.6 x 1.6 in), it can be attached to a keyring, and easily stuffed into a purse or pocket. Additionally, if its one included mono-crystalline solar panel isn't powerful enough for you, you can add on some others.  Read More

Pure Tension Volvo Pavilion

"How am I going to prevent that battery from dying on my trip?" It's a sentiment that's been echoed again and again, even by the most ardent EV early adopters, and certainly by the auto consuming public at large. With only 100 miles (161 km) of battery power on a good day, and few charging stations along most routes, the fear of sputtering out on the highway is real and pervasive. With help from a collaborative of designers and architects, Volvo shows one possible solution – a collapsible, carport-sized solar charging pavilion named Pure Tension.  Read More

The Nectar fuel cell-powered USB charger converts butane into electricity

There's no doubt that mobile electronic devices have revolutionized our daily lives. A smartphone and laptop, both equipped with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, provide mobile computing capabilities only dreamed of a decade or two ago. If only the batteries would keep up. While portable fuel cells have been proposed for a decade as a solution to the requirement for more portable power, actually making such a beast has proven commercially impractical. Now Lilliputian Systems, Inc., an MIT spinoff company, is manufacturing the Nectar, a USB recharger based on a butane fuel cell.  Read More

The OnBeat headphones feature photovoltaic cells on the headband and hinges to charge buil...

The rain-soaked streets of Glasgow have provided the unlikely backdrop for the development of the PV-packing OnBeat Solar Headphones. As the sun beats down on these on-ear cans, custom-molded polycrystalline silicon photovoltaics on the headband and side hinges harvest its energy to charge up powerful batteries within the housing. A charging cable connected to the USB port on the right cup can be plugged into your smartphone or digital music player, topping up your device while you listen to some cool tunes.  Read More

This is what you do when you're testing solar-powered gadgets in a tree-filled neighborhoo...

Introduced early last year, the Waka Waka lamp is a solar-powered LED light designed for use both in first-world campsites and third-world homes. Towards the end of the year, the Waka Waka Foundation followed up on the lamp’s success with a similar product, known as Waka Waka Power. It not only provides light, but can also be used to charge up your electronic gadgets. We recently had a chance to try one out ... during sunny breaks in an otherwise very wet and cloudy June.  Read More

A few minutes of spinning should be enough for a quick phone call

It's always the way. Just when you have to make that important phone call, your smartphone tells you it's time to recharge your battery and then promptly dies. Little wonder then that the backup charger market has become such a crowded space. Arguably the most appealing battery blocks available are those that can also offer off-grid emergency power from sources like PV panels or kinetic energy. The Voltmaker takes the latter approach, providing your smartphone with enough juice to make a quick phone call with a flick (or more accurately, several flicks) of the wrist.  Read More

The Sense+ smartphone dock will sound an alert in the event of fire

While most smartphone docks focus on bringing da noise to add some life to a party, the Sense+ Docking Station is designed to be a potential life-saver. The portable device packs built-in smoke and gas detection sensors to sound an alert in the event of fire. The Sense+ also works in conjunction with an accompanying app that automatically calls friends and family if the user doesn’t respond.  Read More

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