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Technologies Review | October 17, 2017

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From Candles To Plants – Innovative Ways To Charge Your Smartphone

From Candles To Plants – Innovative Ways To Charge Your Smartphone
Adams Neil

Seeing that 10% mark on your phone battery status might easily be the most annoying thing when you know you will not be able to charge it any time soon. Standard lithium-ion batteries are put to pressure with every app you install and a program left running in the background – not to mention Skype video chats, long calls or texting sessions.

From Candles To Plants - Innovative Ways To Charge Your Smartphone

These are the things that drain your battery and put you in a desperate need of a charger more often than usual and, consequently, a sustainable solution. Here are a few innovative, interesting and, above all, working ways to charge your smartphone.

From Candles To Plants - Innovative Ways To Charge Your Smartphone

All Natural Solution

As you know, energy is everywhere around us, not just in the electric circuits, power lines and sockets running through our walls. If you could only channel that energy in the right direction and point it at your smartphone, there would be no problems regarding charging. Well, this visionary idea might not be far from realization.

With E-Kaia, you can get usable energy from plants by using just the soil and a circuit planted in it. Being constantly tested on multiple plants by its inventors from Chile since 2013, this setup manages to charge your phone in about ninety minutes providing 5V and 600mA of power, which is enough for normal work of most models. This solution is sustainable, reusable, natural and, most importantly for eco-aware individuals, does not harm the planet.

Set the Mood and Charge the Phone

It does not matter whether you are on a camping trip or you have just lost power at your home, candles are probably the first thing that crosses your mind as a source of light. However, these nifty little things are more than just a source of romantic mood or the light in the dark, but can be used to charge your phone as well.

Candle Charger does exactly what its name suggests – charges your phone using candles. By combining their warmth with coolness of water in a specially designed container, this device creates electricity that is being converted into changing power via an USB port (standard 5V/500mA power of 2.5 W). With just one candle, you can charge two iPhones almost completely, but be sure to change cold water often for more power.

Keep Walking until 100%

For people with busy schedules, making dozens of phone calls and answering tons of emails is ordinary and these people are defined by two things – they are constantly on the move and their phones are constantly dying. So, why not use one of these things to solve the other?

Even though it is still in the starting phase and not yet present worldwide as it surely will be quite soon, Ampy is gaining momentum. It is a small device that can be placed in your pocket, collects your kinetic energy and transfers it into power for your phone. With about ten thousand steps – which is how a grown-up makes during an average day – your Ampy will get about three-hour’s worth of charging time. However, you can get even more kinetic energy by running, riding a bicycle or working out for half an hour.

From Candles To Plants - Innovative Ways To Charge Your Smartphone

No Strings Attached

One of the most popular technologies in this area is wireless charging – no chargers, no cables, no problems. All you need is a wireless charging pad and an empty phone. While this technology is not as new as some of the previously mentioned ones and has been put to use in various fields, only recently has it become completely usable in the area of smartphones.

The change came with the ability to charge devices with a metal case. Qualcomm’s WiPower technology enables this connection to the metal in the cases and is sure to push the limits of the phones’ manufacturing in the years to come and more companies are going to look into this option. This method is as fast as using a cable and has the realistic ability to become even faster and more efficient as wireless technology advances. Finally, with it, you will be able to charge several devices simultaneously, even if they do not have the same power requirements.

Other Options

Depending on how experimental you are willing to get with this technology, there are multiple options – car charger, wind/solar power, back-up battery, bike charger, etc. However, while we wait for these to become available for the general population, commercially present and a little bit more affordable, you can stick to good old chargers from online mobile shops.