Last year, Orange teamed up with GotWind to produce the Dance Charge: an armband which contains the technology necessary to harness kinetic energy and use it to power gadgets. This basically means the owner can wear the armband whilst dancing all day at a festival, get back to the tent and plug a mobile phone into the now-charged unit. Hey Presto! Even more reason to stay active. Orange are yet to release the Dance Charge nationwide and as of yet only a few exist, but we’re guessing they’ll be a common sight before long.
Pedal for Power
From Japanese company Rakuten comes a battery charger sure to attract equal amounts of love and hate from its owner. On the plus side, the charger doesn’t rely on an external electrical source to power up devices’ batteries once plugged in; instead it requires someone to pedal furiously, either with their feet or hands, with a view to generating the power needed to revive the battery. As if that wasn’t enough to seal your approval, the device also boasts a flashlight just in case you get caught short after dark. According to the Rakuten website the device sells for ¥11,130, which equates to approximately £76.80.
Just Add Urine
Aqua Power System’s NoPoPo batteries are certainly unique. The name stands for No Pollution Power and inside each battery is a combination of magnesium and carbon which, when introduced to certain liquids (e.g. water, or even urine), can produce 437 milliamp-hours (mAh) of power. So, if your camera runs out of battery whilst you’re taking a stroll through the countryside, a quick pipette full of urine can introduce enough power for those vital few extra snaps before coming home.
The Self Charging Battery
Why use a charging device when the battery itself has a USB connection? USBCELL batteries have exactly that. Simply flip open the end of the battery, plug it into a USB port and it’ll begin to charge. The major downside is the price – a pack of 2 AAs will currently set you back £10.99 – but still, it’s a good start. At the moment only the AA batteries you see above are available to buy, but many more products are apparently in development.
The Toasty Charger
Gimmick aside, Hyun-A Ko’s Toasty Charger is actually an aesthetically pleasing device designed to charge your lithium-ion batteries. After the battery is placed in the slot – much like a piece of pre-toasted bread – the lever is pushed down in order to begin the charging process. The front of the toaster then slowly turns yellow as the battery becomes fully charged, at which point it pops up, full of juice and raring to go. More info can be found at Yanko Design.
The Powermat is a thing of beauty: a thin, sleek mat upon which you just need to place your gadget of choice for it to begin recharging. Apart from the mat itself, there’s no need to plug anything in, plus you can place multiple devices on the Powermat concurrently as long as there’s ample space. At present, the mat is compatible with ‘iPhones, BlackBerrys, MP3 players, cell phones, headsets, hand held electronic games, digital cameras, and GPS units’ and will set you back approximately £100, receiver included.