iPhone Skin is Really a Wind-Powered Charger
One of the few complaints about the iPhone is the short battery life. Most people need to charge their phones on a nearly daily basis. The possibility for a low battery while away from a power outlet is pretty good, so off-grid charger concepts have come up often over the last few years. Most revolve around solar power, but the new iFan concept from Tjeerd Veenhoven utilizes the power of a good strong breeze. However, is it at all possible a wind-powered charger could work for an iPhone?By using a modified computer fan, the designer was able to charge his phone in 6 hours. It's rather a lot of breeze to have to capture before reaching a full charge, but the total time sounds about right considering the charge time of wind-powered chargers already on the market like the HyMini and the Kinesis.
Image credit Tjeerd Veenhoven
The iFan concept is a rubber skin you place around your iPhone, complete with a fan at the top to catch the wind. The designer is modifying it so that it can be attached to a bicycle handle to capture the breeze while you ride. He is also working to make the fan blades even more efficient, and changes that would allow a person to wear it while they walk or attach it to a car while driving.
Again, 6 hours is a lot of time spent in the wind, especially while having your iPhone hanging off your bike handle or, gulp, out your car window. We aren't sure that having it be a skin for the phone is such a great idea. But we do love the idea of getting an extra charge for your cell phone just by sticking a fan out on your window sill for most of the day.
It needs a little work, but it's a very smart start of an idea for a product in what is to be a multi-billion dollar market.
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More on wind-powered charging
CES 2009: Solar and Wind Hybrid Charger from Kinesis Industries (Video)
Off-Grid Charging for Cell Phones Is a $2.3 Billion Industry (Video)
The Mini Kin Offers Cheaper Option for Personal Wind Charger
Gotwind.org Wind-Powered Cell Phone Charger
HYmini Wind-Powered Gadget Charger