Top 10 phone charger concepts
With smart phones getting ever bigger, ever brighter and ever more powerful, we need a step-change in charger thinking. Enchargenate!
The days of the smart phone have ironically fettered mobililty, caging us in red and amber bars. What with manufacturers' obsessions with silly-speed processors and gargantuan bright screens, it's little wonder your juice is sluicing away in the blink of an.
You may be reluctant to relive the 1980s fashion for carrying around battery bricks, obsessed as you are with raz(o)r-thin handsets, so we need some fresh thinking. If you're sick of being in a perpetual state of tension over your phone croaking, like a particularly dull series of 24, then fill your boots with these phone charger concepts -- some ready to buy, some still glints in the developers' eye.
10. Slider charger If we're talking about retro revivals, how about slider phones? No, not Qwerty keypads, but a charger that slips off the back of your phone, plugs into the wall when you're at work, and slides back in when it's play time again. Nope, we can't see that one getting lost in our desk full of widgets, dongles and USB sticks either.
9. Andru Android charger
No self-respecting Android fanboy should be without gorgeous little Andru. He spews juice downs the line in a Droidy-shaped charger. One unfortunate drawback of a toy-like plug is that it transforms the domestic socket into a source of naive curiosity. "Mummy, I want my eyes to light up too, what if I stick my finge..." pzzzzt.
8. PowerTrekk water-charger
Coming as it does via the Daily Mail, we'll take the claims that this charger provides 10 hours of battery life from a spoonful of water with a pinch of salt. Make that sodium silicide -- that's the magic ingredient that's said to react with the water to produce hydrogen gas to power your handset. Perfect for when you find yourself face-down in a puddle at the end of a heavy night out, badly in need of a taxi home.
7. Pedal power
One of the reasons your battery's constantly running dry is because you're sat on your widening derriere gawping at YouTube videos all day. Who can blame you when cats insist on behaving so cutely? Alleviate the guilt and a few calories with the K-TOR Power Box mobile phone-charging pedalo. If you can be bothered.
6. Gas mask charger
Don't waste your breath on the pedalo. Literally -- while you're working up a sweat with your tootsies, strap on this fetching gas mask charger. It powers your phone through kinetic energy, effectively transforming your gob into a mobile wind farm. And if you're cycling around, you can imagine yourself being a speeder bike pilot in Return of the Jedi (as if you don't do that already).
5. Wind chargers
4. Apple desk charger
Granted, Steve Jobs was a bit clever. But the one enduring failure of his legacy was not inventing a phone that lasted longer than a mayfly. And if you're fidgeting with your iJobbies all day, you're going to be left with one shrivelled-dry Apple. Sit your iPhone on the iDesk while you're at work, and problem solved.
3. Suitcase charger
One of our favourite chargers, if only for conjuring visions of tanned business executives rocking their suitcases back and forth like a pram in the VIP lounge. Re-juice your cell as you trudge through check-in with this ingenious. By the looks of things, your phone appears to be suspended in mid-air by the charging cable, so you might also want to check your travel insurance for mobile theft cover.
2. Camping charger
Camping at a festival and your battery's as fried as you are? Then fire up the BioLite stove, which -- apart from not needing gas, which is ingenious enough -- will recharge your battery by burning twigs and pine cones. Just plug in your USB cable and the heat of the fire will do the rest. (Okay, who remembered to pack the USB...?)
1. Kitten charger
Undoubtedly the finest invention of the 21st century thus far. The tech world has yet to harness the seemingly boundless resource that is kitten power. Which is why this kinetic ball of wool charger simply had to come into existence. And if you don't have a cat, amuse yourself for hours rolling it back and forth on your desk, while the head of HR looks on quizzically and digs out your personal file.
So that's our top 10. If those don't get your juices flowing, try these: night club charging booths; shoe chargers or "brisk walking" chargers; solar iPhone case chargers; universal gadget wrist chargers; bikini chargers; foot pump chargers; Coca Cola chargers; bicycle chargers; yo-yo iPhone chargers; and, ingeniously, the Rubik's Cube charger.
Still not whetted? What would be your ultimate phone charger concept? Let your brainwaves wash upon our shores below, or on our Facebook page.