Crowdfunding is an easy way to support new ideas and even make some money.
We took a look at what’s being offered on energy and power management area in Kickstarter.
#1 – LuminAID Solar Inflatable Lantern and Phone Charger (2-in-1)
LuminAID PackLite Max Phone Charger is a solar inflatable lantern & phone charger. It packs flat (1″ thickness) and inflates into a lightweight, waterproof, 150 lumen lantern. The device has a 2000mAh battery, which can be charged via USB or with integrated solar panels. There is one 5V / 2.4A output for charging any device with micro-USB connector. It takes 12-14 hours to fully charge the battery with solar power.
Having both a good light source and a power source enabling connectivity are essential when you’re trekking out and about, near home or far away. You probably have some bulky and clumsy solutions for addressing both needs, but obviously a compact and lightweight option would be preferred. LuminAID is just that , and the use of solar panels makes the device practically self-sustaining. The biggest target audiences are in the areas where electricity is a rare commodity, and this device can be a life saver there.
Verdict: 4/5 – One point deducted because of small battery capacity, otherwise a great product.
#2 – Smart night lighter
Smart Night Lighter is the first charger adapter with a forward light to make it easy to connect in the dark. It also features ambient lighting with colored LEDs, which can be used as mood lighting or as night light. Smart Night Lighter adapter is MFI certified (Made for iPhones). There are also cables available, which are wider and have more copper than standard charging cables, thus improving the charging performance.
Plugging the charger in the dark can be difficult, and sometimes a night light would be useful. The question is, whether these issues should be solved with a LED stuck at the end of your charger cable. We don’t think so.
Verdict: 1/5 – Candles are still the champions of mood lighting.
Niper is the world’s first-ever social-networking phone recharging system. It is a bracelet, containing a small 420mAh battery and two charging plugs. You can either charge your phone from the internal battery or from another phone. An app in your phone will give popups whenever another Niper user is in the vicinity. If you or someone else is in need for more power, you can communicate via the app and arrange a meet up for a short charging session.
Our opinion is that this idea is not going to fly. The bracelet is not attractive and seems like very clumsy to use. The effective capacity of the battery is really small (as explained here).And how many of us would want to meet some random strangers sending you a message, asking for a bit of juice ?
Verdict: 1/5 – Something else is needed to create a social charging community.
#4 – Prufen – World’s First USB Cable w/ Safety Features and mAh Meter
Prufen cable promises to give you a safe and high performance charging experience. It features safety mechanisms against power overload and current surges, as well as overheating. The overheating is monitored via sensor in the charger plug. The cable itself has a lot of copper which increases the performance. There is also a OLED display, where you can monitor the charging parameters and charged capacity.
We here at PowerProfiler like to measure everything, so an integrated measuring device in the cable is kind of cool. This feature is probably not very important for the vast majority of people, though. Thick copper is always good and we also like the sensor for overheating, as well as timer for automatic disconnection. However, the design is bulky and lacks sex appeal.
Verdict: 3/5 – For engineers only.
#5 – LYNQ: The No Nonsense 6-in-1 Charging Hub
LYNQ is a USB hub with integrated BT HF stereo speakers and a microphone, featuring also Qi wireless charging (as an add-on). And a pen holder. LYNQ can be used to tidy up your desk from cable spaghetti. It can be used for teleconferences too.
One device providing all the USB connectivity, audio interface and charging, while eliminating the cable clutter sounds kind of good. However, in this kind of device the design is crucial, and LYNQ fails there. Also, a unique selling point is missing.
Verdict: 2/5 – The design needs a lot of work.
BONUS PICK : LOVE – The World’s First Intelligent Turntable
LOVE maintains the intimacy and quality of vinyl records but adds modern day smart features, while keeping the crackles & pops. This is not directly related to power management stuff, but it is just so damn cool.
Verdict: 5/5 – Gimme gimme gimme.