Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Charger

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

The Halo is a backpacking stove with built-in fuel cell charger for charging mobile device...

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.  Read More

SolePower and its ankle strap battery

Two years ago, University of Wisconsin–Madison engineering researchers Tom Krupenkin and J. Ashley Taylor developed a device designed to harness the power of walking to charge an internal battery. Now, a new product called SolePower is looking to do the same thing, and its designers are turning to Kickstarter to bring it to the masses. The difference between this and other devices is that it comes in the form of a removable insole, so it can be used in different kinds of shoes.  Read More

Supercharger networks are strategically located near diners, cafes, malls, etc. so drivers...

Tesla Motors, makers of fine electric performance vehicles, recently surprised the mainstream with news its Model S performance sedan had surpassed Mercedes S-Class, Audi A8 and BMW 7-series in sales for the first quarter in the US. For a company that only released the Model S last June, news of this exponential interest was not only surprising but worked to further validate consumer interest in a fully electric vehicle. On top of the surprising sales figures, media sources like Consumer Reports proclaimed Tesla’s Model S to be one of the “best cars they'd ever tested”. With positive feedback and increasing sales of the Model S, Tesla has identified an expansion of its Supercharger networks as a critical next step.  Read More

The Universal Battery Charger is designed to provide power to field infantry electronics (...

Portable electronic devices have revolutionized warfare, but they've also burdened the soldiers with an increasing number of batteries that adds significantly to their load. To help lighten the load, the US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's communications-electronics center (CERDEC) has developed a military-grade Universal Battery Charger (UBC) to help soldiers in the field keep their electronics powered up.  Read More

The silverback-gorilla

In its travels, portable power system manufacturer Powertraveller says that it's come across the question many times: "Can you make a battery with enough charge to run a laptop all day?" It now has an answer. The silverback-gorilla is its beefiest portable power pack yet.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 29,464 articles