Charged Up
Alternative power chargers are harnessing energy from water, wind and fire
Tech / 27 Mar 2012
For many, panic sets in as the “red icon of death” looms in the background of an important phone call or crucial GPS directions. And with 3 million new iPad owners, constant connectivity is a necessity. Since electrical outlets aren’t always readily available, new portable battery rechargers are relying upon natural resources like water, wind and fire to keep users powered up.
While water may seem like a cellphone’s mortal enemy, the PowerTrekk case actually harnesses it to revive lifeless devices. When filled with good old H2O, the proprietary PowerPukk fuel cell converts the hydrogen into electricity and recharges any gadget in the same time it would take to do so through a wall charger. The power generated from each ‘puck’ is the equivalent of four AA batteries, enough to fully charge a smartphone. PowerTrekk was designed with outdoor activity in mind, so it’s ideal for campers, hikers and bikers who might otherwise fret about losing access to their GPS, email, or, dare we suggest, Angry Birds.
AIRE Mask:
The AIRE Mask charger applies sophisticated principles of wind power to mere human breathing. A small wind turbine-like system operates within the device’s mask, so that after each breath, energy is collected and transferred through a cable to charge the attached device. Think miniature wind farm. The technology can be applied both indoors and outdoors, enabling gadgets to be charged while running, watching TV, or sleeping. Although AIRE Mask is still in concept phase, it recently won “Best of the Best” at the Red Dot International Design Competition. Assuming it goes into production, it should give new meaning to the phrase “Don’t waste your breath!”
BioLite CampStove:
Using technology on a camping trip may have seemed counterintuitive to previous generations, but nowadays, it’s a lifeline. The BioLite CampStove is a hybrid cooking stove and power charger that converts campfire heat into usable electricity. The portable stove burns easy-to-forage timber like twigs, pinecones and leaves to cook a meal or boil water for safe drinking. Simultaneously, the device converts the thermal energy into electricity to power smartphones, lights and gadgets via a USB outlet at the same charge rate of a regular laptop USB port. Though intended for the outdoors, BioLite can be a saving grace during a blackout, storm or other emergency.
©The Intelligence Group