Have you found yourself running out of juice on your smartphone or tablet while on-the-go? Finding a wall outlet might be a good solution, but it’s not always convenient when in a public place. You can always charge from your car’s cigarette lighter (or DC adapter), but what if you’re traveling abroad or riding the train, plane or cab?
Mobile charging packs are a big help, but a new campaign on Kickstarter aims to build the mother of all mobile charging packs, with a capacity of 11,200 mAh. Creator Anthony Vilgiate aims to raise at least $25,000 through crowdsourcing to finance three models of mobile, multi-device chargers. These are built in small form-factors (just a bit bigger than the average phablet), but carry enough juice to recharge a typical smartphone four times or a tablet computer 100%.
Here are the models:
- The Adventurer costs $30 and has a 6,600 mAh capacity. It can recharge an iPhone or similar device 3 to 4 times up to 100%. The device charges from a typical USB port for 6 to 8 hours.
- The Destination costs $65 and comes with a 10,000 mAh capacity. It can charge a smartphone 6 to 8 times to 100% or an iPad or similar-sized tablet about 1.5 times. The device comes in a sleek brushed aluminum case that the creator says would help in heat dissipation, as well as look nice alongside a device like a MacBook Pro. A full charge takes about 6 to 7 hours from a typical USB port.
- The Expedition costs $50 and comes in 11,200 mAh capacity. It charges smartphones up to 10 times on a single charge, or an iPad-sized tablet 1.5 times (plus a smartphone twice over). The device charges from 4 to 6 hours when plugged into a USB port.
These charge estimates are based on real-world tests. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on device and ambient conditions. Do note that the Samsung Galaxy S3, for insance, has a 2,100 mAh battery pack. Depending on environmental conditions, the Expedition can charge an S3 about 5 to 6 times, or even more if you don’t start at zero (you can do the math).
Notable here is the fact that the Destination costs more than the Expedition, but that’s due to the use of the Aluminum enclosure. The bigger-capacity cells still do not fit in the designed enclosure. Also, the Expidition uses cheaper Lithium Ion cells, while the two other devices use Lithium Polymer. While Li-Poly has the advantage of being able to fit into different or smaller form factors, Li-Ion has the benefit of faster charging.
The two bigger power packs can charge two devices simultaneously, which is perfect if you’re at an event, in a commute or on the road and several devices are running flat. The devices come with a power indicator similar to those found on MacBook Pro batteries. Press a button and LEDs light up to show you the approximate charge level. All packs come with universal adaptors that work with several brands and models, but you would most likely need just a USB to microUSB cable for most of your Android charging needs. (Good luck if you have the iPhone 5, iPad 4 or iPad Mini, because the universal adaptor package does not come with a Lightning adaptor.)
Of course, items like the 55,000 mAh Nectar Power Pack, which featured at CES this January, can give you more juice, but the power packs offered by the Kickstarter project are definitely more portable and cheaper. By comparison, Nectar costs $300 for the device itself and $10 per power pod. Some comment-posters have pointed out that the Nectar Power Pack says milliwatt-hours (mWh) and not milliampere-hours, which means 55,000 mWh at 5 volts equals 11,000 mAh. Either way, Anthony’s Kickstarter project will end up cheaper.
As of this writing, Anthony has raised $14,242 from 243 backers, and the deadline for funding would be by March 8th. Once funded, power packs can be produced and delivered within a 4-6 month time frame. The creator says he has hardware experience building LED devices and systems, and is doing this as his first independent project.
Think this is a worthy Kickstarter project to invest in? $50 seems a good price to pay for peace of mind (at least in terms of power availability) while traveling? Check out the Kickstarter project page from the source link to make a contribution.
Check out the project video below.