Unfortunately, as our collection of consumer gadgetry increases, so does the number of different power charging cables piled up at the edge of the desk. Hong Kong's M&C Lighting t'Light desk lamps promise to help reduce the tangled mound by incorporating charging ports in the base. Each of the company's four models packs a USB charging port and comes supplied with multi-tip cables compatible with various brand mobile phones and notebooks. Two of them also have an integrated iPod/iPhone dock and a power outlet for notebooks, and there's one with built-in stereo speakers.
The electric and plug-in hybrid car industry is learning the lesson of the mobile phone makers. Instead of allowing a plethora of incompatible charging plugs to sprout up, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International hopes to forestall confusion by settling on one charging plug design for North America. SAE has selected the J1772 combo plug as the standard, which uses paired couplers to allow for both AC and DC charging using the same plug.
Calculating the fuel costs of a traditional vehicle is quite easy – just look at the price read-out on the gas pump or receipt after you finish filling it up. The cost of filling up an electric vehicle's battery can be a bit more difficult to pin down because you don't get a receipt on the spot and the cost of electricity fluctuates regularly. GM plans to make the process easier for Chevy Volt owners with a new app currently being tested designed to give Volt owners a full cost breakdown.
Tesla Motors has announced an extensive network of Supercharger stations that aim to make long distance travel a reality for owners of its Model S
electric car. The chargers are some 4.5x faster than previous methods, making it possible for drivers to get half a full charge in as little as half an hour.
While it may not be likely that one person would need to charge a MacBook and two iPads all at the same time, it’s entirely possible that a group
of people (say, a group of people covering an electronics trade show) might need to. If they did, and an AC outlet wasn’t close at hand, a single Sanho HyperJuice2 could apparently do the job. The portable battery pack was just launched at IFA 2012
EcoXPower by EcoXGear is another take on a concept which most Gizmag readers will be familiar with: harnessing the kinetic energy produced while one pedals a bicycle in order to convert it into electricity and charge a smartphone or similar device. Though we’ve covered several products of this nature in the past, such as Nokia's Bicycle Charger Kit
, Dahon's BioLogic ReeCharge
, and the PedalPower+
, the EcoXPower sets itself apart by charging your smartphone or GPS and
providing electricity to front and rear lights at the same time.
SunVolt is a portable solar power station able to harness the Sun's rays in order to charge low-power mobile electronic devices, such as digital cameras, e-book readers, cell-phones and tablets. While you'd be forgiven for feeling underwhelmed on hearing news of yet another
solar charger in the works, the crucial difference between SunVolt and existing solar chargers like the Solarmonkey
, is that SunVolt’s creator Don Cayelli claims his product can, on a clear day, charge multiple devices just as quickly as if they were plugged into the wall.
Best known for its Swiss Army knives and watches, Wenger has been expanding into other types of gear and accessories, including tents, shoes and sunglasses. Portable solar chargers are some of the latest additions to this expanded line.
If the idea of your mobile gadget running out of juice leaving you incommunicado (or, heaven forbid, bored) fills you with fear, then a battery pack is the obvious solution. But what if your power needs vary from day to day? Exogear has developed a battery pack that it touts as the world’s first stackable battery pack that is designed to adapt to suit your battery needs, no matter how small or how great.
It’s a scenario many of us are familiar with: the power goes out and the sole flashlight kept at the bottom of the kitchen drawer has either disappeared, or else been harvested for batteries, leading to much fumbling around in the dark. Portland, OR native Greg Hinzmann aims to prevent this situation by designing a flashlight which is so beautiful that you’ll want to show it off and so have it to hand, should the need arise.