Infinity Cell Review: Shake the Power into Your iPhone
All too familiar is the moment when you need to make an important phone call and notice that you’re at 5% battery or lower. Or, the phone’s battery died at the same time the car engine did. Or, you forgot to pack a universal adapter, and none of the shops are open so that you can buy one.
Chances are, given how dependent we’ve become on our smartphones, we’ve all had moments where we wished we could just magically charge the phone using air. Whether we need it to talk, text, look something up on the web, play games, take pictures and so on, a cell phone without power is something that seriously impedes our plans.
A number of cell phone power extenders and portable chargers are available on the market, and are effective as a solid back up to the phone’s regular battery. However, once the energy’s used from that source, you would end up right back at square one.
A new charger—currently raising money at Kickstarter—eliminates the concern of running out of power, without requiring you to carry multiple back-ups. The Infinity Cell uses kinetic energy, energy you generate through motion, to provide power for iPhone 4, 4S, and the 5 (coming soon). Simple activity, like walking, running or biking, generates energy by shuffling the case. Basically, if you are active, your iPhone can be fully charged all the time.
The Infinity Cell does not require you to use electricity to pre-charge it as a battery back-up. It uses the energy that is generated as the charger and iPhone is jostled about through daily activities. The technology behind the kinetic energy generating power for personal items is not new—many watches have incorporated it into their design. Nevertheless, this is the first application of the idea to cell phones.
Forty minutes of moderate shaking can charge the iPhone to 20 percent; for a full charge, you would have to be active for three hours. While three hours seems like a long time, the designers behind the charger are trying to make the technology even more sensitive, so that the slightest bit of movement will make it charge.
The Infinity Cell charger is currently about the size of a pack of cigarettes. It slides onto the iPhone like many other portable chargers. This charger links to the smartphone with a cable.
The proprietary battery circuit ensures that the phone receives a charge only when it is safe and effective to do so, so there’s not a risk of overcharging the phone.
To go with the charger, there are plans to create an app that “will track your energy saving, carbon offset and gamify the experience by granting users badges as they reach different energy saving rankings.”
Ease of Use
The charger requires no assembly; attaching it to the iPhone is simpler than putting on some phone cases. The charger needs moderate movement to charge—you can vigorously shake the phone manually, take a brisk walk or put it in your pocket and violently fidget (if that’s what you want to do, anyway). If you are an active person, you can take the phone with you in an armband or in a pocket while you work out.
The designers are working on developing a case that will fit all smartphone dimensions, current and future, as the size and shape of popular cell phones continually shift.
The Infinity Cell is trying to raise $155,000 through their Kickstarter project by June. If they are successful, we may never have a moment with a dead cell phone again.
[box]About the author:
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer and online marketing professional in Los Angeles. She currently works with Planet Telex and is on the phone day-in and day-out, which makes her very interested in the Infinity Cell and its future![/box]