Mobile Chargers: No Longer Boring Necessities, but Super Cool Must Haves!

Mobile Chargers: No Longer Boring Necessities, but Super Cool Must Haves!

Innovation is not limited to smartphones and tablets in the mobile world. In fact, the accessories for these mobile devices are experiencing a high rate of innovation of their own, particularly as obtaining wireless, green and more mobile charging solutions become increasingly important.

It’s no surprise that one of the biggest flaws in having a phone that resembles a pocket PC, is battery life. The more the phone is capable of, the shorter the battery life seems to be.

For most of us, our smartphone has become an important part of our daily tasks or routines, whether it be for work or leisure, the terrifying sound of our battery running at less than 20% is something we all try and avoid. To address this, there have been a slew of very cool chargers which not only actually charge your phone, but are aesthetically interesting and use clean energy.

So, if you’re in the market for super sleek, super cool and super effective ways to keep your smartphone going, check out these beauties:

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Charge Your Phone With A Bit of Elbow Grease

Sony wants you to charge your smartphone the old fashioned way. No high tech electronics or solar powered contraptions, no the Sony CP-A2LAS USB wants you to work to prevent your smartphone battery from giving out.

Don’t be put off though, when I say ‘work’ I only mean a few twists of a handle. This hand cranked charger allows users to generate more talk, play or work time by cranking the charger. Sony warns however, that this is only a last resort charger, as winding for three minutes gives you one minute of talk time, and winding for five gets you a paltry minute of web surfing. It’s handy for if you find yourself without a nearby power supply, or if you’re waiting for an important call.

At the moment, this charging device is only available in Japan for US$100. A bit steep for a device that runs on the user’s physical exertion, but worth it if you frequently find yourself without a power source.


Pocket-Sized iPhone Charger and Tripod

A Kickstarter project named The Twig, aims to bring a charger and tripod together in one pocket-sized accessory.

The Twig is described by its creator Jason Hilbourne as an “amazing ultra-portable cable for your iPhone.”

The 4-inch cable is a simple charger cable that connects your phone to your laptop or a wall plug. The Twig is durable enough to bend into a sturdy table stand for your iPhone either in portrait or landscape mode. In this state, it doubles as an iPhone camera tripod. The Twig stand also makes hands-free FaceTime possible.

The other great thing about this charger/ tripod, is that it’s thin enough to fit into your pocket, and comes in a variety of colours. If you own an iPod touch or iPod nano, The Twig is compatible with them too, as well as providing a place to wrap you ear phones around.

If you pledge US$18 on Kickstarter (plus US$16 for shipping), you’ll get a Twig sent to you once production has finished. While you don’t get to choose a colour, that’s a pretty good deal for such a cool gadget.


Solio BOLT

This nifty little device is both a battery pack and a solar charger for your smartphone (and your other gadgets).

The Solio BOLT has an on-board battery and rotating solar panels, and supports USB powered gadgets like smartphones, MP3 players, e-readers, GPS and cameras. The BOLT holds a charge for up to one year and is capable of giving most smartphones two or more complete charges on its one charge. The charger is capable of charging a completely flat smartphone in 3 hours on average.

To fully charge the BOLT, it will require a full day within the sun or through the Micro-USB port by using the included USB charging cable. From USB, the BOLT’s battery charges to full capacity in 4.5 hours. The solar charging efficiency of this device is not affected by high temperatures while in the sun.

The device also adheres to two standard charging specs; a CTIA standard charge output that most devices follow and an Apple charge output which Apple products follow. The BOLT can switch between modes, which allows for the device to optimize the mobile device’s charging specific to what charging mode they require.

Another benefit of the BOLT, is its mobility. If the device is not charging itself with solar power, it folds into a compact device that fits into the palm of your hand.

The Solio BOLT is available for US$70 through Solio’s website.

GreenZero Charger

With the increasing importance we place on our mobile devices, we often drain the battery during the day and leave our devices to charge overnight. While this is usually the most convenient way, this method of charging can firstly damage your device’s battery life by overcharging, while also generating higher energy bills due to the continuous trickle of power.

The Mushroom GreenZero charger by Bracketron aims to eliminate these issues by shutting off with zero idle power when your device is fully charged or unplugged. In addition to saving your device’s battery life and reducing unnecessary power consumption, the Mushroom GreenZero is lightweight, compact and includes a cable reel, which makes it easy to cart around with your devices.

Also from Bracketron, is the Stone Battery, which operates on the same presmise as the Mushroom GreenZero, in that the device shuts

off with zero idle power. However, the Stone Battery is a pocket sized portable power supply that allows you to charge your devices on the go. The portable power supply uses a 1000mAmp power device and a LED light to indicate when your device is charged. The battery within the Stone Battery fully recharges within 3 hours and holds the charge for up to a year.

Both of these devices will be available from the end of July through Bracketron Australia.

Aviiq Portable Charging Station

For those of you who travel with multiple devices, the Aviiq Portable Charging Station is a place to keep and charge all of your mobile devices in one go. The small travel bag is able to store and charge 4 USB devices. It sports a cable rack system, keeping all of your cords neat and tidy, which feeds into a single port inside the bag that is in turn connected to a wall plug. The bag also includes a retractable USB cable that lets you sync any of your devices to your computer.

While not a charger as such, this Charging Station keeps everything together, making charging multiple devices easy and losing devices less likely.

The Portable Charging Station is available here for US$89.90 for the nylon gray and US$109.99 for the leather black.


Make Your Smartphone H2Go and Go and Go

While other chargers use electric outlets, solar panels or hand cranks to charge devices, the PowerTrekk uses water.

For those of you conscious of water use, relax, it only needs a tablespoon of water to work. Essentially how this device works, is that it contains two compartments: one which holds the actual battery (PowerTrekk Puck), and the other holds the water. You insert the Puck, fill it with water, connect the device to be charged and off you go! However, if you find yourself without water for some reason, you can also use its standard 1500mAh battery to charge your devices.

It is currently not available in Australia and New Zealand but it is retailing for around US$299.



Charge Your Phone With Another Phone

While this solution is a chip that phone manufacturers will have to include in the making of smartphones, we thought we would include this because it’s a pretty cool concept.

Winstream, a Taiwanese company manufacturer of power supplies and charging technology, have developed a chip that will allow two people to share one phone’s battery by touching the two phones together. The chip was unveiled at Computex, and in a demonstration on the show floor, two iPhones with external battery packs containing the chips were pressed together back-to-back. One phone was used to charge the other, then after the settings on the external batteries were switched, power flowed in the opposite direction.

The company says it will begin mass production by September. The chip is roughly the size of a contact lens, which will make it easy for phone and tablet manufacturers to fit the chip into their devices. Sales Director Kevin Chi said that larger batteries tend to be more efficient with wireless charging, so using a tablet or laptop would be better suited when charging a mobile phone through this method. Chi also said that the technology occurs at about the same rate as when a device is physically plugged in.

(Source: Cio)


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