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Power pack contest

Ardica Technologies announced Saturday in San Francisco the winners of its Power To The People competition, which challenged entrants to put its wearable battery pack to use.

More than 100 applicants submitted ideas in the competition. The judges had chosen nine finalists--four of whom received awards Saturday--for their ideas for the Moshi Power System, a wearable lithium-ion battery pack that provides hours of energy for heat, power, and charging.

Ardica gave each of the nine finalists $500 in seed money to develop their ideas into working prototypes.

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Four awards

Four awards were handed out.

Grand prize went to a sleeping bag heater that can also charge camping gear.

Second place was given a coal mine respirator.

Third place went to a backpack for professional photographers.

A special recognition award was given to a ski patrol vest.

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Sleeping bag

Three Virginia Tech students, led by Kyle McCrory, took home the grand prize of $5,000 for their sleeping bag application, which provides heat and can charge camping equipment like flashlights.
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The Moshi Battery Pack contains seven 2.75-inch lithium-ion batteries that are linked inside a foam sleeve, so that the 11.3-ounce package can flex at the joints. The pack is 9 inches long and 6.5 inches wide. It can charge a cell phone 20 times.
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A coal mine respirator was the second place winner as well as the winner of the People's Choice award via Twitter. It uses the Moshi Battery Pack to power a filter that provides a steady supply of healthy, breathable air to miners.

The respirator can support breathing during maximum labor output for hours.

"I think the Twitter voters were highly impressed with the versatile application of the Moshi power system and the great societal contribution of the mining respirator," said Rich Walwood, Ardica's contest manager.

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A member of the team that developed the coal mine respirator demonstrates the device during the awards ceremony.
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Third place went to a backpack for professional photographers. The Moshi system was integrated into a camera bag designed to reduce load carried while maintaining a steady power source.
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Ski patrol vest

The special recognition award went to a vest for ski slope patrols. In addition to operating communications gear, the battery can be used to power a heat blanket during a mountainside rescue.
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Hap Klopp

"We received an amazing array of great ideas on how to use our portable Moshi power system. The final vote was very close, but the most elegant, practical and marketable design was the sleeping bag by the three Virginia Tech students," said Hap Klopp, Ardica's executive director and co-founder of The North Face.

The winning entry uses Moshi's portable power system to provide heat on demand and simultaneously power camping gear.

The Moshi battery pack itself has won awards, including "Best of the Year 2009 Award" from both Popular Science and Outdoor Life magazines.

"We know we have a great product. Our contest allowed designers from around the world to come up with innovative uses of the Moshi, and we were thrilled with the results. Some of these designs could definitely go to market," Klopp said.

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