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Tag Archives: Batteries

Ugly Wristband Recharges Your Gadgets.

By Chris Scott Barr

Don’t you hate it when you see one of those good ideas that’s been poorly executed? I believe that this Orca PowerStrap falls into that category. Imagine, if you will, a fashionable bracelet that houses a battery. You can plug in a variety of mobile gadgets into the bracelet to recharge them while you’re using them. Sounds pretty neat, right?

Enter the $65 Orca PowerStrap. It’s everything mentioned above, minus the word fashionable. Rather, it is big and ugly. I understand that batteries can only be made so small before they’re unable to hold a decent charge. However, if the product isn’t something you’d want to wear most of the time, it really defeats the purpose.

[ Iwantoneofthose ] VIA [ Dvice ]

SolidMicro PadPower iPad Case

SolidMicro PadPower iPad Case (Image courtesy SolidMicro)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s hard to complain about the iPad’s battery life. It isn’t infinite, but it will easily last for even the longest of intercontinental flights and then some. However, that’s not stopping 3rd party accessory makers from creating external battery packs, even though I can’t imagine the demand is as great as it is for the iPhone. SolidMicro is the latest to create a case/battery combo that features a hefty 6,000mAh battery that provides up to 2.4X the iPad’s standard battery life. Pricing is still TBA it seems, but I’m pretty sure most users won’t even bother if it ends up in the $100+ ballpark, which is most likely.

[ SolidMicro PadPower iPad Case ] VIA [ Akihabara News ]

Brother Unveils AA Batteries That Recharge From Shaking

By Chris Scott Barr

Last week we showed you a review of some AA batteries that could be recharged by using a USB port on your computer. While it’s great to not need a special charger for your batteries, wouldn’t it be great if they could recharge themselves without being hooked up to another power source? That’s exactly what Brother is trying to do with these Vibration-Powered Generating Batteries.

Essentially the technology inside these batteries is similar to the flashlights that can be powered by shaking them. Since both the battery and generator are both packed into a AA-sized enclosure, the output is very minimal. Currently they can only produce around 100mW of unsustained power. While that may not seem like much, it would be perfect for TV remotes, which generally use less than 100mW. This could mean having a remote that never needs the batteries changed. I’m down with that.

[ TechOn ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]

OhGizmo! Review – USBCell AA Batteries

By Chris Scott Barr

Batteries. Let’s face it, you probably can’t live your daily live without relying on them. They’re in your car, your laptop, and even the remote to your TV. It’s likely that the most common ones that you actually have to change are of the AA and AAA variety. These tend to power smaller devices like keyboards, mice, game controllers and the like. They also tend to run out of juice when you need them the most.

If you rely on AA and AAA batteries for a lot of your gadgets, then you’ve no doubt invested in a few sets of rechargeables. This is a great economic way to make sure that you always have a fresh set around (without having to keep buying new ones all the time). Now if you’re on the road a lot with these battery-loving gadgets, you don’t want to clutter up your luggage with another charger, do you? Of course not. Instead, what you need are batteries that can be recharged without a special adapter. These USBCell batteries seem like just the thing.

At first glance, these seem like the perfect solution for the road warrior. They are a set of AA batteries, which have built-in USB adapters. You simply insert each into a free USB port on your computer, and they will start charging up. The question is whether or not they’re actually worth buying.

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Microsoft Instaload Lets You Install Batteries In Any Direction

By Chris Scott Barr

How many times have you gotten a new gadget and had to squint to decipher the little diagram that tells you which way to insert the batteries? Sure, sometimes it’s pretty obvious which end is negative thanks to a little spring coil, but not everything has one. While this is only the most minor of inconveniences, it could actually be a thing of the past next to Microsoft.

Microsoft isn’t the first company that comes to mind when I think about AA batteries. However, they have developed a new technology called InstaLoad that will allow you to insert these (and CR123, AAA, C and D) batteries in either direction.  You might not find this to be terribly important for yourself, but those with poor vision and fine motor skills will no doubt find this invaluable. Microsoft is currently working with a number of companies, including Durcell, to get this technology into various consumer electronic products.

[ Microsoft ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Sony Introduces Their Own Portable USB Power Supply Adapter

Sony USB Portable Power Supply (Image courtesy Sony Europe)
By Andrew Liszewski

Sony continues with their ‘me too!’ mentality with last week’s announcement of their new Portable USB Power Supply Adapter. It’s apparently available now, though a 20-minute search of Sony’s various sites around the world returned no indication of its existence besides this vague press release on the Sony Europe site. But from what I can tell, it features a modular design with one half serving as a charger/ac adapter, while the other features a rechargeable Li-Ion battery and a USB port for topping off any gadgets that can charge over USB. Unfortunately I’ve no idea what the battery’s capacity is or just how many devices it can recharge, or even how much it will set you back.

[ PR - Never run out of power with the new USB Portable Power Supply from Sony ] VIA [ Newlaunches ]

BioLogic ReeCharge Is Another Dynamo Powered Charging Solution For Your Bike

BioLogic ReeCharge (Image courtesy Dahon)
By Andrew Liszewski

There are many benefits to biking instead of driving a car or even taking public transit, but just because it’s a fairly low-tech mode of transportation doesn’t mean you still can’t enjoy your electronic amenities. The BioLogic ReeCharge from Dahon is another dynamo powered charging solution for bikes that features a 1600 mAh lithium polymer battery and a single USB port allowing you to charge your cellphone or even power a GPS device.

The electronics that buffer the “incoming and outgoing current so it’s safe for all electrical devices” and the battery are all housed in a splash-proof silicon case so you don’t need to disconnect it when you get caught in the rain (your other electronics are another story) and for reference it’s able to fully charge the iPhone in about 3 hours. The BioLogic ReeCharge should be available next month for $99, but you’ll already need to have a dynamo system installed on your bike since that’s not included in the price.

[ Dahon BioLogic ReeCharge ] VIA [ Bike Hugger ]

Get Some Extra Life Out Of Those Old Non-Rechargeable Batteries


By Chris Scott Barr

With the sheer number of wireless devices in my house, rechargeable batteries are a godsend. Unfortunately, they’re also rather expensive. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just take those old, cheap batteries and stick them in a charger? Apparently with this new ReZAP charger, you can.

According to the company, you can take any regular battery and with this magic device, recharge it up to 10 times. This is done by using intelligent microprocessors and software to regulate the charging process. It can detect what type of battery has been inserted (AA, AAA, AAAA, C, D or 9-volt) and automatically determine the right charging algorithm to give it a fresh charge. If you’re wanting to get the most out of your cheap batteries, then this $60 gadget might suit you when it comes out next month. However, if the quality of the product is anything like the company’s website, I’ll definitely pass.

[ PC Treasures ] VIA [ Coolest-Gadgets ]

Win A RichardSolo 1800 Battery Backup

By Chris Scott Barr

I know you guys are pretty excited about the HP Touchsmart that we’re giving away, but as we all know, there can be only one winner. Of course that doesn’t mean you can’t have a shot at winning something else. This week the folks at RichardSolo wants one of you to get their new 1800 battery backups that we mentioned a little while back.

The RichardSolo 1800 will charge up your mobile device at least once, with a little juice to spare. It’ll also give you a flashlight and laser pointer when you need them. Just drop us a comment and next Friday I’ll pick one of you at random to take home the prize.

(The giveaway is only open to US residents)

[ RichardSolo ]