Brunton’s Pocket-Size Hydrogen Reactor Charger

bruton

Hydrogen has long been hailed as the power source of the future. This abundantly available element can be fused with oxygen to provide a limitless supply of clean energy, but its use has hitherto been confined to expensive prototypes. However, it’s now possible to put a hydrogen reactor in your pocket, thanks to a remarkable new device from Brunton.

Self-descriptively titled the Hydrogen Reactor, this ingenious handheld gadget contains a pair of compact and removable hydrogen cores. Acting as its energy source, these cores react with oxygen carried in the air to generate a 5V 2A electrical output. That is sufficient to fully recharge an iPhone half a dozen times, and when the hydrogen cores are exhausted, they can be replenished at a cost of just £4 per cell.

The benefits of the Hydrogen Reactor go far beyond cost savings, however. This is a completely environmentally friendly way to charge any USB-powered device, including cameras, tablets, GPS systems and even water purifiers. Since hydrogen and oxygen combine to produce water (which is where the hydrogen in each core has originally been sourced from), no chemicals or waste products are generated, and cores can be replenished using Brunton’s proprietary Hydrolyser.

Weighing just 216 grams when fully charged, the Reactor is lightweight and easy to transport, while its vibrant colour palette includes yellow and orange casings, alongside a more sober black option. There is a dedicated Optimiser button on the device, to manage the power needed to charge up different devices. Taken as a whole, this is unquestionably a cooler and greener method of recharging gadgets than conventional battery packs, and it avoids the manual labour demanded by wind-up chargers.

Even though it was only unveiled recently, the Hydrogen Reactor has already started winning awards, and to underline its long-term dependability, this charging system comes with a no-quibble lifetime guarantee as well. Priced at £135, the Hydrogen Reactor will be launched in November alongside its accompanying Hydrolyser, and it will be available from the bruntoneurope.com website and various outdoor retailers.

Top Five Wireless Phone Chargers

Dusan Belik of Serbia writes about his passion for all things techno as if they were alive and natural. He thinks that by using a smart phone to organise your life, you demonstrate how much you care about the way that you use your precious time on Earth. Fair enough… whatever turns you on?  He also refers to the new Tylt VU charger is “sexy”… Sexy…? You need to get yourself a partner mate!

Whilst wireless phone chargers are surely not sexy, they can be extremely useful, for the simple reason, like all wireless technology, no wires are required. Given the obvious advantages of these devices, an increasing splurge of wireless phone chargers is arriving on the market.  

Take a look at the top five…

Tylt

Tylt VU

The Tylt VU Wireless Charger is designed for Qi compatible smartphones and it has to be said that this novel charger looks like a mini sun-lounger and could well indeed look sexy if a totally naked miniature nicely rounded type was sunbathing on top of it!

A vibrant appearance is at the heart of the Tylt VU, although the red, blue and yellow ones perhaps aren’t going to light everybody’s fire. One of the features of this charger is that it works both horizontally or vertically, meaning that you can charge your phone at a 45 degree angle and still see its screen.

This colourful wireless mobile charger will shipped in June 2013 and will cost approximately £46.

You can buy the Tylt VU here.

Duracell-Powermat

Duracell Powermat 24

Powermat have been frontrunners in the wireless charging game from the outset. The company’s latest rendition comes in the form of a flat charging pad, which is shaped simply to the profile of your iPhone. The Powermat 24 is compatible with the iPhone 4 or the Samsung 3.

A Duracell Powermat 24 kit will set you back approximately £64 and includes a spare battery comes with this set along with a plug in charger. You can buy the wireless charging pad on its own for approximately £32 at the official Duracell Powermat website.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kr4OQEkRI18&feature=player_embedded&list=PL4H8vdb09DoLKJWsZEuMIwweNpxY3NYkB

Nokia-Fatboy

Nokia Fatboy charging pillow

The tendency to treat our iPhones like a baby can certainly be applied to this novel wireless charger, as you simply lie your phone down gently on top of the pillow without the need to plug it in to anything and wake up to a fully-charged phone!

This little pillow charger comes in five colours that can be matched up to your bed sheets and taken to bed with you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_lBPL7mGO3g

This fun wireless charger will set you back about £60 and can be bought at Nokia.com.

WildCharge

Wild Charge Pad from Pure Energy Solutions

A relative newcomer to the wireless charger market, the Wild Charge Pad is the creation of Pure Energy Solutions, a company that prides itself on being a “green energy company.” This wireless charger provides 15 watts of output power and can therefore charge multiple devices simultaneously.  

What is particularly refreshing about the WildCharge Pad is that it is compatible with several phones, including older ones. Another refreshing aspect of this wireless mobile charger is its price – approximately £32.

You can buy the WildCharge Pad here.

Oregon-Wireless-Charger

Oregon Scientific Alarm Clock and Wireless Charger

It’s not such a bad idea to have an alarm clock combined with your wireless phone charger to do away with all that clutter on the bedside table. The Oregon Scientific Alarm Clock and Wireless Charger charges all types of phones which are Qi compatible and even reads indoor and outdoor temperatures.

It’s certainly sleek and being the world’s first combination of clock and wireless charger, has to be described as innovative.

The cost of Oregon Scientific Alarm Clock and Wireless Charger is £89.99 and can be bought here.

Video: myFC PowerTrekk fuel cell charger (2013 edition)

myfc-powertrekk-fuel-cell

The myFC PowerTrekk, a portable charger that integrates a battery pack with a hydrogen-powered fuel cell, was originally announced back in early 2011. As a refresher for those who may have forgotten – the PowerTrekk is a fuel cell charger for small electronics like mobile phones, cameras and GPS devices and it is both a fuel cell and a portable battery pack. The fuel cell enables instant charging from a depleted battery state without ever needing a wall charge. Users simply insert a fuel puck and add water.

The long-awaited product became available to buy last Spring and now, at CES 2013, the Swedish company behind the product announced a new and improved model. These improvements include a completely redesigned water tank to improve usability, the efficiency of the engine has been improved and the chemistry of the power ‘pucks’ have been changed to be more powerful. This new myFC PowerTrekk is expected to start shipping towards the end of Q1 and be in stores in April/May with a retail price of US$229 and you can buy a 3 pack of pucks for $12.

We caught up with the team at CES and filmed the following video

You can find out more about the myFC PowerTrekk at www.powertrekk.com

Griffin & Kensington’s iPhone Battery Cases

Smartphones are getting better all the time, but as the screens get bigger and more impressive, they start to drain the juice from the battery. There are several was to get round this – carry our charger with you at all times and – ahem – borrow electricity whenever you get the chance to plug it in and give your phone a boost or splash out on a spare battery to carry with you (and remember to keep it charged).

Or how about using a phone case that boost your battery’s power?

Bungee

Kensington – best known for its secure tethers for laptops – has turned its attention to mobile phones and has produced a case that boosts battery power – and then some.

The BungeeAir Wireless Tether & Battery Case is a soft, rubberised case for the iPhone 4 that features a 1500mAh battery built-in that offer hours of extended time for talkng, browsing the web or whatever you want to do.

As well as boosting battery power, the BungeeAir has a digital tether that alerts you if your phone gets separated from you (you leave it on a table in the pub as you’re leaving, for instance). It also disables it so that nobody can access the phone without the password. It can also help you find your iPhone if it goes missing.

The device costs £99.99 (which is quite a lot, but then iPhone 4s are not cheap either).

Find out more at kensington.com

ReserveBatteryCase

Griffin has also just released its Reserve Battery Case for the iPhone 4. This is a slim case that wards off dust and scratches while a built-in lithium-ion battery is charging your iPhone. The case itself is charged using a micro-USB cable (charge status is shown by an LED indicator)..

Griffin’s Reserve Battery Case is £39.99 from www.amazon.com.

BungeeAir

Mophie also offers extended battery life for iPhone users with the Mophie Juice Pack Plus. The case plugs into the bottom of the device – and when you need the power because your phone’s battery has died, you just flick a switch on the edge of the case and your phone will be charged up again.

If you need to check how much power is left in the case, press the button on the base of the case and the LED lights will show you.

Like most other battery boosting cases, the Juice Pack will add quit a bit of size to your phone – but it’s worth it if you are out and about a lot and reall rely on your mobile.

The Mophie Juice Pack Plus costs around £34 from www.amazon.com.

Tom Tom takes multi tasking to a faster level

Not content with taking the sat nav world by the scruff of the neck and shaking it until all the completion falls away, Tom Tom is seemingly making itself almost indispensible to other hardware manufacturers too. Tom Tom has long led the in car sat navigation market with its wide range of driver friendly, intuitively easy to use devices that have got me out of hopelessly lost causes, pointing the way home from the middle of nowhere on more than one occasion.

TomTomCharger

With the launch of the new high speed multi charger, Tom Tom is taking its driver responsibilities to even higher levels. Now we can not only ensure our saintly sat nav is fully charging, but also while we’re at it, charge a few other peripherals too. Why not hook up an iPhone, an iPad, and a juice hungry DVD at the same time at four times the speed of normal rechargers?

The new high speed multi charger can charge up to three devices simultaneously without any reduction of power unlike other chargers where power is split between ports. There are two USB ports, one at 1.2 amps for standard mobile phones or mp3 players and another at 2.1 amps for more power heavy iPhones and iPads plus a dedicated 12 volt port too for larger devices such as DVD players.

Corinne Vigreux, Managing Director at TomTom delivers the final  knock out punch: “Sleek, small and boasting TomTom’s award-winning design, this is is the first TomTom accessory that enables users to charge their sat nav device and other mobile devices at the same time – it’s a neat in-car, in-truck, or in-caravan charger”.

The new high speed  multi charger will be available  online and at most major electrical retailers for £19.99

IEC approves universal smart phone charger

I was at an airport last week and there was a mobile charger station there which was free to use for passengers. There were, and I kid you not, over twenty different connectors sticking out of it which in many ways puts this story into perspective.

USB-charger
Picture courtesy of Flickr user quiroso

Finally, it seems manufacturers have come to their senses and agreed on a universal way to charge phones. The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) has had agreement from all the major mobile manufacturers to use a standard one size fits all USB connection for all their new smart phones.
Research shows that there are 51thousand tonnes of redundant chargers produced every year, and this new initiative throws the door wide open to significantly reducing both greenhouse gas emissions by some 13 million tonnes a year and the cost of shipping and manufacturing.

IEC General Secretary and CEO Ronnie Amit said:

“We all have drawers full of chargers that became obsolete as soon as we buy a new phone.
Today, we have a truly operational global standard that will allow the industry to end this waste and significantly reduce environmental impact”.

Will this lead to our new phones reducing in price? We will have to wait and see. What it will do though is give me some significantly more drawer space.

Don’t leave home without it: A gift guide for a loved one with the travel bug

What do you buy a travel junkie that seems to have everything? Well that’s simple, any one of the following…

Echo-Smartpen

Livescribe Echo Smartpen

If your loved one’s tendency for travel is business rather than pleasure related, the chances are he or she will love the Livescribe Echo Smartpen. This ingenious device records audio and matches it up with what you are writing. People taking notes during a presentation or a lecture can get away with jotting down keywords and later going back and listening to the conversation, cued up to different words on the page. When users download the free software to their PC, when the pen is plugged into a USB port, they can recap both the audio and the notes – most definitely a ‘smarter’ choice of pen.

Available in two different sizes, the 4GB Echo Smartpen costs £110 and the 8GB Smartpen costs £130.

Kayak app

This app costs nothing so cannot be considered as the most ‘generous’ travel gift available. Nonetheless being a simple, searchable app including information on flights, car hire and hotels, it’s a corker.

The Kayak app is available at www.kayak.com

Klipsch Image S4 Headphones

For travellers enduring long-distance journeys, standard ear buds can become slightly uncomfortable to say the least. The Klipsch Image S4 Headphones come in different sizes and are smaller, more tapered and softer than conventional headphones. They may be smaller but they are sturdier and more sound resistant than other standard ear buds – a real ‘must have’ for ardent travellers.

Go Laptop Travel Charger

Times have changed immensely since the days a backpacker’s backpack consisted of a pair of undies, socks and a toothbrush. Nowadays even backpackers insist on taking their laptop with them on their travels. A decent charger is therefore imperative. With a bevy of ‘tips’ or adaptors, that work with different power jacks, a whole host of Windows-based laptops can be charged with ease. And measuring 0.7 inches thick and weighing just 13.5 ounces, the Go Laptop Travel Charger is less bulky and lighter than standard AC adaptors, making more room for those other ‘essential’ travel items.

World Mate app

Another fantastic freebie, the World Mate app is an essential travel portal that provides worldwide weather forecast, currency exchanges and hotel searches.

World Mate can be downloaded at www.worldwidemate.com

Tripit Travel app

By acting as a kind of personal travel organiser, the Tripit travel app creates a master travel itinerary and enables users to access their travel itinerary online. To collate confirmation emails into one travel itinerary, download the Tripit app for free at: www.tripit.com

PowerMat 2010 range hands on

Powermat invited us down to have a play with their latest range of lovely new wireless charging accessories. When it was first released, Powermat’s range of wireless charging gizmos magical on paper, but with a slightly chunky range of cases needed to make the device work, I (and others) had a few reservations.

This year however, thin is in and the 2010 range was decidedly svelte. The iPhone 4 and Blackberry cases were pretty much the same size as conventional cases – with the added benefit of wireless charging obviously.

Powermat

The iPhone 4 came with a little cradle you could throw your phone onto, holding it in place whilst filling it with juice. Like previous generations of Powermat it makes a little whirring noise when you engage it. Unlike previous generations of Powermat there was no “mute” button, which was a mild irritant. Then again, in normal use you would only put it down to charge once so it’s not that big of a deal.

The case adds very little bulk to the iPhone or Blackberry. The Nokia Powermat solution however, is nothing short of magic – replacing the battery and battery cover with a Powermat supplied version means the device is exactly the same size but can charge wirelessly.

Outside of phones there was the PowerCube – a small white device with a variety off attachments for micro-USB, mini-USB, Nintendo DS and other battery-charged electronics that extended the wireless charging love-in to all.

Obviously, Powermat would like to work with manufacturers at the design stage to build Powermat technology straight in to devices from the get-go, eliminating the need for cases – and making cutting down on cable-clutter. In terms of Phones, wireless syncing of data would also be incredible. Until that day however, the current Powermat range is interesting.

With prices ranging from low to reasonable for a decent phone case and some wireless charging voodoo, the Powermat range is definitely worth checking out.