(Credit: Micasa Labs)
Using the kinetic energy produced by motion, the iRock rocking chair can power your iDevice.
There's a bit of world collision going on here: the rocking chair, which is seen as a symbol of the olden times (although they're really quite pleasant and everyone should have one), and iDevices — all that is hip and jiggy.
The iRock, by Zurich, Switzerland-based company Micasa Lab, is a rocking chair that charges your Apple device as you rock (providing it's not one of the newer models that require a Lightning connector — oops). A small generator converts the kinetic energy into electricity to power an iDevice that sits in the dock off to one side, and a battery stores the excess for later.
The main challenge was to get the generator working efficient. After trying out several designs, we finally got it right, and with a set of gears we're now able to get sufficient power to charge the built-in battery that in its turn are charging the iPad/iPhone. A concept we were working on for quite some time was the use of rubber bands and springs to increase the effect of the movement, but we ended up with a solution using a winding mechanism that is geared up to run the generator.
But it also rocks — a pair of speakers in the headrest connects to your iPhone, iPod or iPad, so you can enjoy a film or listen to music.
Of course, it's not as efficient at charging as a power point — an hour of rocking only produces 35 per cent of an iPad's full charge — but we imagine that it's still a feature that would be useful during a power outage.
It's crafted from Swedish pine wood, and comes in five different colours — black, white, green, pink and blue — for the not-so-humble price of US$1300. We imagine that combined with shipping to Australia (if Micasa Lab even does ship to Australia), the price would be just a little on the prohibitive side, especially since the connector will probably soon be outdated — but the idea is still a pretty cool one.
Head on over to Micasa Labs' iRock website for more info.