Nokia unveils bicycle-powered phone charger

The old-fashioned dynamo once used for bike lights has been updated to charge Nokia phones with a 2mm jack.

The charger and phone holder for the Nokia Bicycle Charger Kit attach to a bike's front handlebars. Nokia

Nokia unveiled on Thursday a bicycle-powered phone charger.

The Nokia Bicycle Charger Kit, which can be attached to any bicycle, powers up from the pedaling motion of the bike's rider. A dynamo--the electricity generator--is powered by the front bicycle wheel as a rider pedals and transfers electricity to a charger attached to the handlebar, which a phone plugs into.

"To begin charging, a cyclist needs to travel around six kilometers per hour (four miles per hour), and while charging times will vary depending on battery model, a 10-minute journey at 10 kilometers per hour (six miles per hour) produces around 28 minutes of talk time or 37 hours of standby time. The faster you ride, the more battery life you generate," Nokia said in a statement.

The charger can be used to power any Nokia phone with a 2mm power jack, according to Nokia.

The Nokia bicycle charger comes with a dynamo that attaches to a bike's fork and generates electricity as a rider pedals. Nokia

The kit comes with two small brackets, in addition to the charger and generator. One bracket attaches to the bicycle's handlebars to secure the charger and a cell phone holder. The other secures the small electric generator to the bike's fork.

The world's largest maker of cell phones said in a statement that its new product will provide "free and environmentally friendly electricity for mobile phones" and will likely be welcomed in areas of the world where bicycles are a transportation staple.

Priced at about $18, the charging kit is set to be available from Nokia online and Nokia phone retailers by year's end.

While its certainly newsworthy that Nokia is offering a bicycle charger, it follows others. In 2007, Motorola demonstrated a bike-powered charger at the Consumer Electronics Show. In September, Dahon unveiled the $99 Biologic FreeCharge for charging small electronic gadgets by connecting to any existing dynamo hub on a bike.

Nokia's announcement came in conjunction with the release of the Nokia C2, a cell phone capable of holding and operating two SIM cards at once to allow for separate phone numbers to be used from one device simultaneously. The dual-SIM C2 allows the user to not only switch between SIM cards, but even swap one SIM card for another, while the phone is on and working.

About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.

 

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